The new government papers on “no deal” Brexit include advice on a number of maritime issues, such as seafarers certificates and safety and security notices for ship and cargo. It also contains briefing on wider transport policy preparations, such as drivers licences, haulage permits and vehicle notices.
The British Ports Association (BPA) has welcomed new UK government proposals to help ensure maritime vessels and vehicles are able to travel between the UK and the EU post Brexit following the UK’s government’s advice on contingency planning for a “no deal” Brexit outcome.
However, commenting on the developments, the BPA chief executive Richard Ballantyne said: “Together with the advice published last month, this brings home the potential of a no deal outcome. There is now limited time for ports and freight operators to prepare and without certainty it is still difficult for terminal operators to commit to investment in physical and digital infrastructure that might be needed to facilitate changing rules for trade”.
“We have been involved in positive discussions with the UK government and are hopeful that EU negotiators can accept a deal which rules out the need for new borders checks at ports, as is set out in the ‘Chequers agreement’. Anything less than this will have serious implications and need to be planned for, not only in the UK but also in the EU.”
The BPA has previously raised concerns that the impacts of leaving the EU Customs Union and the Single Market could lead to disruption at ports. This is particularly the case for roll-on roll-off port operators, which handle the majority of the UK’s trade with the EU, and for whom a ‘no-deal’ could be a serious challenge with new requirements at the border, it highlighted.