Port Services Reg "consigned to the dustbin"
The European Union’s Port Services Regulation will be "consigned to the dustbin" in the UK due to Brexit, shipping minister John Hayes has told members of the UK Major Ports Group.
Addressing the UKMPG reception held in the House of Commons, he described himself as a "resolute, committed and determined champion" of the ports sector, and said he would work to make sure there were no unnecessary regulatory burdens on the industry.
"You need to be absolutely sure and confident that you have a strong voice in government batting for ports and shipping, and particularly for our ports in the world that follows Brexit; this is a great opportunity for the ports sector," he said. "Of course, there will be challenges – there always were going to be. But we can take advantage of this opportunity. The capacity of ports to invest and adapt and respond to changing market conditions is very much a part of the industry."
Ports should be recognised not only because of trade but because of the difference they make to their localities, the businesses they serve, the employment they create and the skills they spawn, said Mr Hayes. "The whole economy is based on your ports. We need to explain and elucidate and evangelise the difference that ports make to our whole economy."
James Cooper, chairman of UKMPG and chief executive of ABP, said the importance of trade needed to be "hardwired" into the UK government’s policies and decision-making. Post-Brexit, he said: "We have an opportunity to set up a regulatory framework for the UK’s unique port sector – such as repealing the EU’s job and investment-killing Port Services Regulation at the earliest possible opportunity."
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