Greenock Ocean Terminal could be badly hit by Brexit

‘Ocean Terminal could be badly hit by Brexit’

‘Ocean Terminal could be badly hit by Brexit’

GREENOCK Ocean Terminal could be badly hit by Brexit according to Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the EU Sir Keir Starmer.

He took a trip to the terminal on Friday afternoon on a visit arranged by Martin McCluskey, political director of Scottish Labour and Inverclyde Labour chairperson.

Last year’s European Union referendum saw a turnout of 66 per cent in Inverclyde, with 24,688 people backing remain against 14,010 who wanted to quit.

Speaking at the terminal, Sir Keir said it was important that he visited ports to understand what the impact on Brexit will be on them.

He said: “The key issue here is what are the ramifications for the containers or cruise ships.

“The type of Brexit will be very important for the terminal because of where investment will go in the future.

“There’s a great uncertainty, and that’s a cause for concern.

“When there’s a final deal with the European Union, it’s going to really matter what the customs arrangements are.”

Asked if he was concerned if the way negotiations were going might have an adverse impact on the terminal, he said: “Yes.

“The negotiations the government are carrying out are going very slowly.

“They’re not making progress.

“That’s making everyone uncertain about the future, and that doesn’t help investment.

“The best type of Brexit would be one that puts jobs and the economy first.

“We want businesses that are successful now to carry on being successful in the future.

“That certainly applies for the whole area, but here at the port there are very obvious issues about customs.”

Sir Keir was welcomed to the terminal and given a portside tour by Andrew Hemphill, Clydeport Peel Ports port director.

Mr Hemphill said he had been at a container conference last week in Glasgow attended by many exporters and importers.

He said: “This was held on the back of the great success here at the terminal. The future is unclear at this stage, so any clarity we can get certainly helps with companies who are trying to invest in Scotland.

“It was very useful to meet Sir Keir, but, ultimately the Brexit situation is still unknown. We need some sort of certainty to help us grow the volumes of the business.”

Sir Keir was accompanied by Shadow Scottish Secretary Lesley Laird of Greenock and Lewis MacDonald MSP, Labour’s Scottish Parliament Brexit spokesperson.

Source: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk, 3 October 2017

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