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Stephen Marcos Jones: UKPIA director general
Published:  11 February, 2019

It is a new year, but the fuel supply industry faces the same challenges with uncertainty surrounding the UK's exit from the EU first and foremost a concern on the forecourt and across our sector.

While the message coming out of Westminster has often been confused and incohesive, the message from UKPIA about what our industry needs to ensure stability and growth both for our sector and the wider UK economy remains the same.

UKPIA and our members continue to argue that a deal with the EU is needed to maintain the competitive and efficient supply of fuels in this country, and we urge MPs to conclude an agreement that meets the needs of industry and the consumers reliant on the products we provide.

Whether it be ensuring the UK avoids disruptions in trade or continues to enjoy access to a host of EU-wide programmes integral to the fuel supply chain, UKPIA has provided a consistent message about what is necessary to keep this nationally critical industry moving.

As the moment of truth approaches for our MPs, these issues need to be acknowledged in the broader national debate. If they are not, then as has also been noted by other business organisations in recent months, the risks to our sector and to the people, families and businesses that depend on our products and the wider economic activity which those products underpin will be increased significantly.

However, regardless of what happens in the weeks and months ahead, it is essential that the downstream oil and fuel retail sectors do not simply react to events but look to shape them as well.

That is why UKPIA will this year launch our 'Future Vision' of what the long-term opportunities for the industry are, beginning this month as we will publish findings on the economic contribution the sector plays across the UK.

This study maps out not only how our sector supports UK jobs and investment now, but how through innovation and leadership we will ensure this is an industry that remains central to the UK's low-carbon energy future.