Following the last-minute deal reached between the UK and the EU, the European shipping industry applauds the efforts of both EU and UK negotiators for their perseverance to secure this agreement.
The European shipping industry has been urging policymakers on both sides to avoid a no-deal scenario at all costs. EU-UK supply chains are deeply inter-related with shipping at the very centre. While the new trading relationship will entail big changes relative to the current arrangements during the transition period, any deal is better than none to maintain the current trade fluidity as far as possible and a level playing field.
ECSA looks forward to seeing the agreed text in more detail in due course and cooperating with regulators on both sides of the Channel. Even with a deal provisionally in place, industries will now embark on new trade ties and we urge the authorities to be flexible and pragmatic to support businesses and the smooth continuation of trade under this new EU-UK relationship. Maintaining and fostering mutual market access is essential, as well as ensuring the smooth movement of passengers and onshore and offshore personnel.
ECSA welcomes the Commission’s proposal to apply the Agreement provisionally as of 1 January 2021, in order to avoid significant disruptions to people and businesses as the transition period comes to an end. The industry calls on the EU Member States and the European Parliament to give their consent to the Agreement as swiftly as possible in the New Year.
Moving forward, and even with this deal achieved, ECSA is calling for a strong EU-UK maritime dialogue as a platform to discuss common approaches to shipping policies, as well as with regard to the global policy framework of the IMO, the OECD, the ILO and the WTO. This would be a constructive step, maintaining a strong historical UK-Europe maritime bond to tackle the global challenges affecting the industry.