Responding to today’s (23 January) publication of a survey of UK ports regarding preparedness for Brexit, the British Ports Association has suggested ports and terminals are considering a range of potential outcomes. The uncertainty has made it difficult for ports to make firm investment decisions in potential solutions. Like many others in the logistics chain ports are considering their options and awaiting details from the Government as to what the final trading environment will look like. Commenting on the consultancy firm Odgers Berndston commissioned study, Richard Ballantyne, the Chief Executive of the British Ports Association, said:
“The ports industry has been involved in extensive planning and discussion with the UK Government on the challenges a no-deal Brexit would present, but given that there is still no certainty around our trading relationship with Europe after Brexit it is not surprising that some ports have been unable to fully prepare.
There is a variety of levels of exposure to Brexit challenges across the UK ports sector. It has been clear from the outset that ferry ports in particular face significant challenges and we know that Government is well aware of these. The industry has been working at a national level as well as with local resilience forums and other groups to ensure that ports and partners across the freight and logistics sectors - including Government agencies at the border - will be prepared for any potential disruption. For the past two years we have been asking Government to ensure that there is sufficient time to implement any necessary changes at the border and we have been urging Ministers to avoid a no deal scenario if at all possible.
This research underlines the importance of securing an agreement and negotiating a future relationship that does not put in place any new barriers to free flowing trade.”