The Freight Transport Association (FTA) and Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have both welcomed the government’s draft Brexit agreement calling it “positive”.

Following a briefing from Number 10 Downing Street, the FTA – of which Jaama is a member, reacted “positively” to the draft agreement recognising it as a “decisive step forwards in the process of the UK’s departure from the European Union”.

The detail of the agreement, which must now gain Parliamentary approval, which reports suggest will be extremely hard to win, includes, what the FTA called “essential elements which will allow continued frictionless movement of goods and maintain the integrity of the UK’s supply chain”.

David Wells, chief executive of the FTA, said: “Based on the briefing I received from the Chancellor and the Business Secretary, the draft text seems to have recognised the vital importance of preserving the frictionless movement of goods and the availability of European Union workers whilst a new permanent trade deal is negotiated. If so, we believe it is crucial that MPs understand how important these outcomes are to economy and the economic security and welfare of the country.”

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “For the automotive industry, Brexit is about damage limitation. The outline agreement is a positive step in avoiding the devastating consequences of ‘no-deal’ and securing a transition period.

“It is, however, only a first step and business seeks certainty and ambition when it comes to securing a competitive future. Truly frictionless trade is the only way to ensure the industry’s future success, and this should be the objective for all parties as we move into negotiating the permanent UK-EU relationship.”