In response to potential administrative complications that could arise from Brexit, the British Ports Association (BPA) is calling for the government to classify port areas and surrounding clusters as ‘special port zones’.
BPA chairman Rodney Lunn and director Richard Ballantyne met with John Hayes, the minister of state at the Department of Transport to address concerns that Brexit could bring increased frontier and customs activities at ports.
There are concerns that these added processes could discuss cargo and logistics flows, making UK ports less competitive and adding costs to the freight industry, noted a statement from the BPA.
To tackle these issues, Ballantyne stated: “We envisage a system whereby port areas and surrounding clusters might be classified as ‘special port zones’ with fast tracked planning and licensing systems.”
“Such zones could safeguard against restrictive environmental designations, which can often limit port growth and development,” he added.
Ballantyne also highlighted his wish that government activity at UK borders do not disrupt freight and passenger gateways.
In any case, the specific conditions of Britain’s post-Brexit trading relationship with the European Union (EU) will only become known following the UK government’s triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and a subsequent negotiation.