Call for parliamentary movement of port MPs

Industry Database

British Ports Association (BPA) chairman Alec Don has called on UK members of parliament (MPs) with ports in or near their constituencies to form a parliamentary movement.

Speaking at a parliamentary reception hosted by the BPA, Mr Don said he was inviting these MPs to “set out to find a common voice”.

Though he left the responsibility in the hands of the MPs, the chairman — who is also the chief executive and executive director of the Port of Milford Haven in Wales in the UK — said the BPA would support those actions in any way it could.

During his speech at the event, Mr Don said that the BPA fully recognises that sustainable development needs “the strongest partnership between government and industry”.

Ports are “not necessarily the answer to every question”, he noted, but the sector is dynamic with a passionate staff and is “quietly but consistently” crucial to all elements of UK trade and vibrant economic clusters’ development both now and into the future.

According to Mr Don, currently, all of the UK’s efforts are centred on the development of the country’s international trade, and there is no question that the continuous development of port infrastructure has always been, and will always be, a matter of overriding economic importance and interest and in the national interest in support of UK trade.

Small ports and harbours, central to their communities’ economic life, also require the ability to invest, he added.

“So here is the question: can we develop the national political will to do what is necessary to deliver a 21st century infrastructure, built on 19th and 20th century roots, at a pace that meets the market need?” he asked.

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