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UK’s Major Ports comment on Customs Union debate, Transport Select Committee ‘Brexit & Freight inquiry’

The U.K. Major Ports Group (“UKMPG”), the body representing the global gateways for 75% of the U.K.’s seaborne trade, made the following comments on today’s developments in Parliament on Brexit.

MPs will today debate the UK’s post Brexit trade relationship with EU and, in particular, if the UK should remain a member of the EU Customs Union.

Tim Morris, Chief Executive of the UK Major Ports Group, commented “Whilst we all want to see trade that flows as freely as possible, whether that’s through ‘the’ Customs Union, ‘a’ customs union or no customs union at all must be secondary right now to getting more clarity on the requirements and timing of practical arrangements. The UK’s large ports handle huge volumes of non-EU trade already. UK Major Ports Group members have the systems and processes in place today that successfully handle up to 95% of trade coming through their ports from outside the Customs Union. 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.”

Today also saw the launch by the Transport Select Committee of an inquiry into preparations for Brexit within the freight industry.

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Tim continued “The UK Major Ports Group looks forward to contributing to the Transport Select Committee’ inquiry into preparations for Brexit within the freight industry. With UK Major Ports Group members already successfully handling huge quantities of non-EU trade there are useful ‘lessons learnt’ to share, plus on what’s necessary to make Brexit changes a success. It’s important as well 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. And, 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.”

ENDS

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For more information please contact:

Tim Morris, Chief Executive, U.K. Major Ports Group

Tel: 07387 091 407

Email: Tim.Morris@ukmajorports.org.uk

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