The CEO of the British Ports Association has claimed cross-border trade facilitation is being neglected in Brexit talks following a speech by Brexit secretary David Davis.
Richard Ballantyne made the comments after Davis mentioned working towards business opportunities outside of the EU in a speech at Teesport.
In the speech Davis said the UK “must be able to prepare for this new relationship not just with the European Union, but with the rest of the world too” and that “90% of future global growth is expected to happen outside of Europe’s borders.”
Ballantyne said: “It is apparent that a far greater focus is being put on the UK’s future global new trade arrangements, rather than on the vitally important cross border operational provisions for the almost 50% of our trade that is with our European neighbours.”
Ballantyne also penned a letter to the UK chancellor, Philip Hammond, outlining the British Ports Association’s vision for ports to be granted special status enabling them to facilitate and accommodate development, enterprise and regional growth.
He said: “Our vision is for a new pro-growth and trade initiative where UK ports are designated as ‘Port Development and Enterprise Zones’, encouraging regional and coastal development and boosting trade.
“Within such zones, trade and industrial activity could be incentivised by favourable business, tax and planning conditions.”