The UK Chamber of Shipping has today published a new study on the impact of the European Union on the UK’s £10bn shipping industry.
The study is designed to help the Prime Minister in determining what should be negotiated and sets out how the single market and EU regulation affects the industry which supports almost 500,000 UK jobs. It also analyses the current position of the UK Government in influencing affairs related to maritime policy in Brussels.
Download the Report here
The report finds:
- The ideology of ever closer union is ‘distracting’ and its relevance in the 21st century should be questioned
- The single market has had huge benefits to the shipping industry. The European Commission should focus on removing remaining barriers in order to further improve the single market. It should act as a ‘watchdog’ that protects free trade.
- The European Commission’s ‘Europe where possible’ approach should be replaced with ‘Europe where necessary’, with safeguards put in place to avoid mission creep
- A full review of existing regulations and how they are formulated is necessary. A ‘red tape challenge’ should be undertaken to remove unnecessary, failed or outdated regulation
UK Chamber Director of Policy David Balston said: “The shipping industry moves 95% of the UK’s international trade – so we have a clear responsibility to inform the debate as to the role the European Union plays in our economic lives.
“It is clear that some elements of the European Union work well, but its mission creep and drive towards ‘ever closer union’ are distracting it from what matters – creating a single market that is competitive in the 21st century.
“The shipping industry relies on trade, and any mechanism that can encourage free trade is something we instinctively support. But there is no doubt that the impact of some EU regulations places the UK and other European nations at a competitive disadvantage.”
“Shipping has a global regulator, the International Maritime Organisation, which creates a global level playing field. But when a regional power such as the EU creates its own regulation, then that global level playing field becomes distorted, and major maritime nations such as the UK feel the impact more than most.”