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Industry Alarmed As Spat Between Governments Threatens Investment In Scottish Ports

The British Ports Association, which represents all the major ports in Scotland and operates the Scottish Ports Group, has expressed alarm at the continuing failure of the UK and Scottish governments to agree a unified approach to the establishment of freeports (branded ‘greenports’ by Scottish Government) in Scotland. Both Scottish and UK Government’s today expressed their intention to proceed with parallel processes.

The UK Government is today making public their decision to move to establish two Freeports in Scotland, after months of delay. The Scottish Government have also published a statement on their website highlighting their concern that the UK Government will not adopt their additions to the Freeports package (which have thus far held up the process). Business Minister Ivan McKee said, ‘the Scottish Government, therefore, has no option but to take forward plans to further develop our green port model which meets the specific needs of Scotland’s economy.’

The BPA’s understanding is that both governments may now press ahead with their own independent processes.

The British Ports Association is alarmed at today’s developments, which represents a serious failure from both governments that is becoming increasingly frustrating for Scottish ports.

The idea that there could now be two different models or application processes being pursued by each government is absurd and is undermining business confidence.

It is long past time that the Scottish and UK Ministers sat down and found a solution to what is a trivial disagreement that is holding back investment and job creation in Scottish port

Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the British Ports Associaton