Maritime sector response to 'breakthrough' deal in Brexit negotiations

Maritime UK and its members have welcomed the agreement between the UK and EU that allows negotiations to progress to discuss future relations.

On the ‘breakthrough’

David Dingle CBE, Chairman of Maritime UK said: “Negotiators may have cut it fine, but industry will welcome the fact that we can now progress to the most important stage of the negotiations; discussing our future relations.

“We’re pleased that the political drama of recent days has given way to a pragmatic and flexible agreement and hope this remains the basis for future discussions.

“Maritime is uniquely responsible for facilitating UK trade so the next stage of negotiations; namely what that future trading relationship looks like, is critically important for our sector.

“Industry will continue to work closely with officials and ministers to ensure the interests of the entire maritime sector are understood.”

The maritime sector supports 1,000,000 jobs and contributes £40bn to UK GDP as well as facilitating UK trade worth £500bn each year.

Maritime is ready to transform Britain into a leading, outward-looking, global trading maritime nation, but clarity as to the future trading relationship and transitional arrangement to get there are required urgently.

David added: “It remains our aim that we secure as frictionless a trading relationship as possible. This is in the interests of both sides of the Channel. Failure to get that frictionless deal will not only see delays and disruption at ports like Dover, Holyhead and Portsmouth, but also in the EU at ports like Zeebrugge, Calais and Dublin.”

Transitional arrangements

  • The maritime sector believes that the UK should continue both its current economic participation and form in the single market and customs union during a transitional period as the simplest way to secure continuity, stability and certainly for industry.
  • The transition period should last until a new deal is in force, and serve as a vehicle to properly transition to the new terms set out in the new deal.
  • The UK should have some form of influence over EU rules and regulations developed during the transitional period, and which the UK would be subject to.