It seems likely that the new Government will substantially step-up no deal planning. Below are the UK Major Port’s priorities for immediate priority steps on no-deal preparation. Also, we believe that ports are important enablers for a number of the priorities the new Prime Minister has already outlines – not just in terms of global gateways for a post Brexit Britain, but also as drivers of investment, jobs and prosperity for coastal communities – which were frequently leave voting – all around the UK.
No deal Brexit comment
“Regardless of your views on Brexit the right thing to do is to prepare for a range of Brexit outcomes and do so quickly. Most of Britain’s ports already successfully handle huge volumes of non-EU trade and have the systems and processes to do more. The ports sector has successfully navigated major change in the past and have been working hard to prepare for Brexit. But it is clear that significant parts of UK business are not ready for Brexit and are facing difficulties in becoming so. The Government must do four very practical things as a matter of urgency to speed the preparation of UK business for Brexit:
- Reset the short-term border measures that were in place for March 29thto October 31stso industry has more certainty on what it’s preparing for;
- Substantially step up the public information campaign on getting ready for Brexit and look at proactively issuing international trader registration numbers;
- Make sure that short-term border measures for ferry ports apply to all ports so British business has the widest possible range of options for easier post-Brexit trading; and
- Deliver the upgrades to common customs IT systems necessary for handling substantially higher volumes of declarations.”
Developing the UK’s global gateways / Free Ports comment
“Ports welcome all positive interest in boosting investment opportunities in and around UK ports. What sits behind this interest is an overdue recognition of the role ports and the maritime sector more generally can play in growing employment and prosperity in coastal communities all around the UK. These are communities who do often face challenging socio-economic conditions and in most part voted to leave the EU.
Free Ports are a potentially transformational opportunity for locations with the right conditions and strong local support. They have proved to be successful in stimulating investment and jobs in a range of locations around the world. However, they are not a silver bullet for all locations nor the only way of boosting the UK’s main global gateways as Britain prepares for Brexit. They are one of a range of measures which would improve productivity and trade in and around the UK’s ports, adding more value to the UK and local economies.
Free ports are one part of a broader package of reforms to development rules that the UK’s ports sector is calling for to boost investment in coastal regions. Critical to realising the benefits from this investment for the rest of the UK is improved connectivity for ports with inland economic and population centres.”
Source: UKMPG, 25 July 2018