The UK Major Ports Group (UKMPG) has urged for greater clarity on the practicalities of timings and arrangements for the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU).
UKMPG, a body of port operators and authorities in the UK, said the issue of Britain remaining within the EU’s Customs Union, a topic which was recently discussed in parliament, ‘must be secondary’ to the realities of how ports will operate following Brexit.
Tim Morris, chief executive of UKMPG, said: “Ports operators have proved time and again that they can adapt successfully to major change – but to do so they need clarity on what changes are needed, pragmatism around the period of change and safeguards on any negative impacts on investment and competitiveness.”
Morris also said UKMPG was looking forward to contributing to the Transport Select Committee’s new inquiry into preparations for Brexit within the freight industry.
He said: “It’s important not to lose sight of the opportunities of Brexit for sectors like ports. The fact that boosting the UK’s trade with the world is now high on the agenda is great news not just for ports but many sectors of the UK economy.
“Given that the UK’s major port’s sector is unique in Europe in being privately run and owned, Brexit is an opportunity to create the right pro-investment policy framework for the UK situation.”
UKPMG’s members, which include DP World UK and Associated British Ports, handle 75% of the UK’s seaborne trade.