26 January 2017
Prime Minister’s Brexit speech, EU Port Services Regulation and Industrial Strategy response
Prime Minister’s Brexit speech
Following the Prime Minister’s speech on the Government’s objectives for the Brexit negotiations, the debate on what the UK’s future trade and customs policy will look like. The BPA is looking forward to disucssing options which will enable the swift facilitation of goods and passeger and will be seeking to understand the details of ithe Government’s post-Brexit vision and how customs and other procedures at ports might be affected.
With the Prime Minister indicating that the UK will be leaving the Single Market, the BPA will be seeking to ensure that the logistical flows of goods and passengers at ports will not be disrupted.
There are different Brexit related challenges and opportunities for ports across the UK. Many ports with exisitng intra EU trade will welcome the indication from Mrs May that the UK would look to negotiate a deal that allows a free trade agreement with the EU.
European Port Services Regulation
In light of the recent Supreme Court decision it now appears highly likely that the European Port Services Regulation will come into force before the UK formally leaves the EU, which means that the UK ports sector will have to adhere to it.
From its inception the UK Government has recongised our opposition to the PSR and we hope that following its implementation it will be included in the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ to remove unwanted EU legislation and red tape.
It will be for the UK Government to decide if it wishes to revoke the PSR legislation after Brexit, but the BPA will be making the case to UK Ministers and officials to remove these requirements once the UK leaves the EU.
Throughout the negotiating process UK Government has indicated support and sympathy toward the industry’s opposition to the PSR, therefore we are confident that there will be an opportunity to overturn the regulation post-Brexit.
BPA welcomes Industrial Strategy but urges a greater focus on port connectivity and planning
We welcome the launch of the Government’s recent “Industrial Strategy” but the BPA has pressed for a greater focus on port connectivity and on the fast tracked planning to help ports develop and grow.
The Strategy’s strong focus on growing the economy, investing in transport and increasing trade is a welcome initiative and rightly recognizes that ports are hubs for employment and improving connections to ports can help promote trade and create jobs.
Recently the BPA has been encouraging measures that enable ports to develop and grow, these include the above fast tracking and also protecting ports from development conditions. This is something that the BPA has suggested in our post-Brexit ‘Port Zones’ concept, which would see port areas classified as areas for growth and we have written to ministers around the UK outlining this idea.
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