BPA comments on recent developments regarding post Brexit border checks

Commenting on recent developments on the UK’s future border arrangements, Mark Simmonds, Policy Manager at the British Ports Association, said:

The British Ports Association has consistently supported the Government’s ambition for frictionless trade with the EU post-Brexit and we have made the pragmatic case for retaining the benefits that the Customs Union and the Single Market deliver in terms of efficiency at the border.

In that regard we welcome the debate prompted by the speech made by the Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, this week supporting a form of customs union with the EU as a step towards avoiding potential disruption at ports.

Many of the checks done on goods at the border are non-customs checks and we will continue to make the case for avoiding stoppages at ports, including veterinary and plant health standard inspections in order to avoid disruption to supply chains. This is particularly true at Roll-on Roll-off ferry ports which support many in ‘just-in-time’ logistics chains.

In this context, we very much welcome reports that the Government’s approach to negotiations will include reciprocal standards for goods and a commitment to keeping rules and regulations “substantially similar”. We would urge that any new agreement on standards and recognition be tailored to reflect the unique and close relationship between the UK and the EU and negate any need for unnecessary and costly checks at the border.

Reacting to Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald’s speech to the Maritime and Ports All Party Group in Westminster on Monday 26 February, Mark Simmonds, Policy Manager at the British Ports Association, said:

“We welcome Andy McDonald’s support for an independent and commercially run ports sector, his clear commitment to improving port connectivity, and ambitious plans for maritime industry.

“We look forward to working with the Shadow Transport team in the development of their newly announced strategy for ports and in underlining the importance of surface connectivity as well as the environmental benefits of moving freight by sea.”