NEW ROADS, NEW OPPORTUNITIES
Move over Hannibal, Murdock, Face and B.A. Baracus! This time not the A-Team wil save the day, but the B-Team will… In preparation of the Brexit LBP formed its own Brexit-Team - led by Marcel van Leeuwen - in order to guide customers and respond to (legal) changes.
Tekst: Anton Filippo | Beeld: Maaike Petri Fotografie
It is not gone unnoticed: Brexit will arrive and sooner than we think… We have to cross the road to a new reality. LBP Rotterdam has been fully aware of this new situation with the United Kingdom. Marcel van Leeuwen is member of our export customs team and leads our Brexit-Team, that’s trying to make sure that LBP will be ready when the circumstances require a change.
"Even if the EU agrees with May's plans,
the European Court of Justice has a final say"
So, Marcel, what’s is the status? “The United Kingdom has made a plan that Prime Minister May presented; she wants a so-called ‘soft’ Brexit from the European Union”, Marcel van Leeuwen summarizes. “This means that the UK wants to use the Union for the transit of goods and food, but not for people.”
A Brexit like this will thus lead to stricter control of people coming in to the United Kingdom. But the chances that the EU will accept a soft Brexit are not very big. Question is then, what is the next step if EU do not accept this? Marcel continues: “Prime Minister May then has to go back to the UK government and parliament. She will have to return to Europe with another plan. You could say it’s chaos right now because there is hardly any support for the plans in the House of Commons.”
The next important question is: if Brexit will happen - as foreseen in March 2019 - and there is no agreement on the terms, what happens then? Marcel is quite clear on this. “Then there will be a ‘hard’ Brexit.” A hard Brexit means that all agreements everywhere in Europe expire and will be cancelled which could lead to a disastrous situation. Lack of food, lack of medicines and so more. Marcel adds: “You see that the United Kingdom is already preparing itself by stocking medicines and food supplies with a long shelf life.”
What will be the opportunities for LBP Rotterdam when the Brexit finally arrives? “The commercial chances and challenges are enormous”, Marcel thinks. “We will see a huge growth in requirements for export customs papers, export Phyto Certificates, maybe Certificates of Origin. A lot of extra work that we won’t be able to handle with our current customs team. But, this will certainly be a great opportunity for LBP, especially because we are ready, already.”
One thing Marcel wants to add as a conclusion. “Even if May comes with a good plan and the EU agrees to the plan, the European Court of Justice has the final say. They can ultimately waive the plans on legal grounds and then there will definitely be a hard Brexit.” The LBP Brexit team will continue to follow the developments and we will inform everyone when needed.