Goods must move freely, shipping leader tells government

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The UK Chamber of Shipping has called on the government to ensure that goods are able to move freely through ports without delay, following reports that the UK government is planning to leave the EU Customs Union after Brexit.

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.

“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”

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