The UK’s maritime sector has backed the Prime Minister’s draft Brexit deal as the best way of avoiding a chaotic no-deal departure.
Responsible for moving 95% of Britain’s trade, and supporting 1,000,000 jobs, the sector has made strong representations on the need to minimise trade friction between the UK and EU post-Brexit.
Last month, European maritime bodiesbacked Maritime UK’s call for a ‘mutually-beneficial deal’, saying ‘at this critical stage in the negotiations we need calm heads and a sharp focus on delivering the sensible, mutually-beneficial deal both sides of the channel rely upon. The deal must minimise disruption at our ports and to the complex pan-European supply chains we’ve built together.’
Maritime UK previously called for an extension to Article 50if a withdrawal agreement were not in place by October.
Remaining in the Customs Union during the transition period will maintain the smooth transport of goods and services between the UK and the EU until a new trade agreement can be negotiated.
David Dingle, Chairman of Maritime UK, said:
“Like many industries, we are relieved to have reached this milestone. The PM’s deal will not satisfy everyone, but offers the best course to avoid a majorly disruptive cliff-edge, and secure a smooth withdrawal from the EU.
“We have continuously called for stability, certainty and predictability, so that our companies can get on with creating jobs, investing in our coastal communities, and driving growth across our island nation. The legally-binding transition period will provide that certainty.”
“The possibility of extending the transition period to ensure it serves its purpose in transitioning to new terms is particularly welcome, not least in ensuring we avoid the deployment of the backstop.”
“Clearly a seven page document on the future relationship does not provide all the detail we need, and we will be seeking further clarification from both the UK government and EU as these discussions progress.
“The focus must now be on securing the withdrawal agreement so that we can move forward to the next stage of the process.
“We urge Parliamentarians to support the deal and work with industry to deliver the optimum future relationship.”