BPA calls for more clarity from main parties following speeches at CBI Conference

Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech at the CBI Conference in London today, Mark Simmonds, Policy Manager at the British Ports Association, said:

“The Prime Minister reaffirmed her commitment to ‘achieving maximum certainty’ at the CBI, and we now need to see this put into action. The Brexit implementation period is not an extension of negotiations but a period where business can adjust to our new relationship with the EU. British ports and those in the freight sector need to know what that new relationship will look like as soon as possible. We need to ensure arrangements are in place so that trade is not disrupted and held up at the border with bureaucratic customs and environmental checks.”

On Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s speech to the CBI, Mr Simmonds said:


“Mr Corbyn highlighted the possibility of a ‘nightmare’ scenario of queues at some ports should the UK leave the EU without a deal. Such a situation is in nobody’s interests and whilst it may be a negotiating tactic to refuse to rule it out, we hope Ministers understand the seriousness of failing to secure a future trade and customs relationship with the EU, particularly in relation to our port gateways. 

Separately on infrastructure, ports will welcome the Labour Party’s focus on capital investment outlined by Mr Corbyn, but we would suggest that this must be targeted and not distort regional competition.”

Mr Simmonds has been meeting with colleagues from the business and logistics industries at the CBI conference where the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were speaking. 

The BPA is an active member of the CBI and has been participating in the much of Confederation’s Brexit briefing programme.