Chamber of Shipping: post Brexit goods must move freely

After the government announced Brexit plans to leave the EU Customs Union the UK Chamber of Shipping has called on it to ensure that goods move freely through ports without delay.

Chief executive Guy Platten said: “What we call the future customs relationship does not matter. What matters is that trade between the UK and the EU is done on a just-in-time basis, any delay to the movement of trade will have a profound knock-on impact into virtually every sector of the economy.

“Make no mistake, having trade move freely matters to the European Union as well as the UK. Spanish farmers, Italian winemakers, German car factories and Scandinavian furniture manufacturers are all just as anxious as British industries to ensure a deal is struck.

The Chamber of Shipping CEO concluded, “What has to stop is the point-scoring and political gamesmanship. The shipping industry that moves 95 per cent of international trade cannot plan for the transition until we know what we are transitioning towards. We need progress and we need it now.”

Mere minutes of stopping trucks at Dover can cause miles of traffic tailbacks. Leaving the Customs Union will add large amounts of bureaucracy and may well cause major congestion at the ports of entry and exit around the UK. It will be interesting to see what has been planned to enable the free flow to continue.