BPA comments on PM's speech on future UK-EU economic partnership

Mark Simmonds, Policy Manager at the British Ports Association, said:

“This speech was a small step in the right direction. Our ports are the gateways for over 95% of UK trade and it is critical that the Prime Minister delivers on her commitment to borders that are “as frictionless as possible”.

“The British Ports Association has been calling for the Government to ensure frictionless borders in our future relationship with the EU. The Prime Minister’s comments today on regulatory standards and mutual recognition are an important and welcome step, as it’s unlikely that technology and trusted trader schemes alone will be enough to keep goods flowing freely through our borders.

“It is important that the free flow of goods through our ports is not disrupted. This is especially critical at roll-on, roll-off ferry ports, where goods on HGVs are used to driving off the ship and out of the port virtually uninterrupted. These ports facilitate the trades of consumer goods, perishable cargoes and ‘just in time’ freight. Any form of customs or other regulatory checks have the potential to disrupt these important ‘just in time’ supply chains. If there are to be border checks, they should be carried out away from port bottlenecks.

“We also noted the Prime Minister has made a personal commitment to avoid placing any barriers to trade within the United Kingdom by ruling out any customs or other borders at Northern Irish ports.”

The full speech can be read here (opens new window): https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-speech-on-our-future-economic-partnership-with-the-european-union