E.U. Ports Warned on Brexit Risks
The E.U. is ignoring the risk of Brexit to European ports, the U.K. Chamber of Shipping has said.
In a video released this week, the Chamber warns that the return of border controls would lead to increased bureaucracy, “guaranteed” lorry gridlock and threats to the prosperity of both E.U. member states and the U.K. It also says that the dangers to major E.U. ports has been understated.
Chief executive of the Chamber, Guy Platten said: “The E.U. sells £240bn of goods to the U.K. each year, most of which travels through ports. So the negative impact of a so-called hard Brexit on ports such as Dover will be felt just as severely if not more so by European ports. I don’t think the E.U. has fully grasped this yet.”
Platten urged Brexit negotiators to “put ideology aside” and retain frictionless trade between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
“Much of the attention on the impact of leaving the customs union has been on U.K. ports such as Dover,” he said. “Major E.U. ports such as Calais, Zeebrugge and Dublin would find themselves equally as vulnerable.”
The Chamber said that Brexit negotiators on both sides must agree that the reintroduction of border controls would be a bad thing, and said Theresa May and Michel Barnier must “put ideology aside and be pragmatic.”
It added that by protecting trade, both the economies of the E.U. and the U.K. would be safeguarded.
Platten said: “The U.K. Government understands the importance of sorting this out around the negotiating table, but we are yet to see evidence that the E.U. negotiators fully understand their own vulnerability.”