What would success for the Brexit leave campaign mean for your business if you send goods abroad?

Whether you export goods on a grand scale, or send a transit or two full of goods to the EU a year, you’ll no doubt be watching the great British Brexit debate with interest.

What strikes us here is the lack of detail surrounding the practical impact a vote to leave might have. We’re not writing this article to persuade you to vote in any particular way, more to discuss the affect it may have on the way you may need to change your delivery arrangements, should the leave campaign be successful.

If we do leave the EU, the open borders and free movement of people and goods will come to an end. And that means that we’ll revert to the old system of presenting additional papers at borders, being subjected to customs inspections and the resultant delays in our onward journeys.

Trade within the EU has risen by 30% since 1992, facilitated by an absence of border bureaucracy. It has cut delivery times, therefore reducing costs. Prior to the border controls being removed, the tax system in place required 60 million customs clearance documents annually.* We’re not relishing the thought of form filling and making customs declarations once again.

Our delivery commitments have moved on a lot since we were in the single market too. Supply chains are geared up for ‘just in time’ deliveries, and do not allow for delays due to border inspections.

Reverting to the old way would adversely affect business’s ability to meet customer expectations. Contracts and consumer pledges would have to be rewritten.

And we know from past experience that the best way to be in control of the time it takes for deliveries to the continent is to send them on a dedicated courier. Overnight services are sent via forwarders that will be subject to more lengthy delays and inspections.

It may be the case that the UK would be better outside of the EU for lots of other reasons. We’re just looking at the repercussions of an exit from the seat of a courier company that regularly crosses into the continent delivering goods for our customers.

With both sides trading increasingly distasteful insults and quoting figures none of us can really know whether they're true or not, we'll be pleased when it's over and we at least know what we are deailing with.

Here at Courier Direct we don’t want to regress, we want to continue providing a reliable sameday and next day courier service to our continental neighbours. Right now we’re seeking reassurances that our ability to operate this level of service will not be compromised. We’re still waiting for a response from the relevant government departments.

* Source: EU Commission