As the EU Port Services Regulation finally comes into force, it is timely to remind Government of the importance of achieving the best possible deal for UK ports in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.
For the UK, the ports industry is a vital part of our modern economy – supporting British jobs, driving innovation and enabling trade. Now more than ever, the UK must expand international trade to help grow our economy and deliver prosperity across the country. UK ports have pledged to ensure that Brexit is a success not only for the ports industry, but for the nation as a whole. We want to collaborate with Government to develop ambitious policies which will support UK trade and exports.
Because UK ports also sit at the heart of a pan-European supply network, we will continue to play an important role in facilitating European trade long after the UK leaves the European Union. So we need to ensure that those supply and logistics chains continue to function efficiently, whatever the final outcome of the Brexit negotiations.
Given the substantial flows of goods and people between Europe and the UK, we must ensure the best possible access to each other’s markets. In particular, we want to see a Brexit deal that includes appropriate arrangements for trade between the UK and Europe, with the movement of goods and passengers continuing with negligible disruption, through frictionless borders.
We also seek a regulatory environment that supports ports in our ambition to fulfil our part in Britain’s post-Brexit trading success. We therefore hope that any unnecessary legislation, that introduce uncertainty and risk damaging investment in the UK at this crucial time, do not form part of the final Brexit deal. In particular we hope the final deal excludes the Port Services Regulation, which comes into force on the 24 March 2017 and comes into effect on 24 March 2019.
UK ports will continue to work with Government, as the Brexit negotiations progress, to ensure that ports can fulfil their crucial role in helping to grow and strengthen the UK economy in the years ahead.