The ports industry notes developments in Parliament this evening and some in our sector will have real concern about the increasing possibility of a ‘no deal’ Brexit outcome. We would urge the Government to clarify its alternative plans immediately and do whatever is necessary to avoid a disorderly withdrawal from the EU.
We have now been discussing the implications of a ‘no deal’ Brexit with Ministers and officials for more than two years and we know they fully appreciate the disruption that this would entail at certain key port gateways. Whilst plans are in place to mitigate some of the worst aspects of this, the fundamental dangers to free flowing trade remain and must be avoided if at all possible. Ports also have a vested interest in a stable and healthy economy. We are obviously now very close to exit day and many in the ports sector will be seeking guarantees that time will found for further negotiation to avoid the UK leaving the EU on unfavourable terms.
Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the British Ports Association.