Ports in Britain could gain advantage over ports in the European Union due to Brexit by dodging the EU’s proposed Ports Services Regulation, Reuters has cited leading UK port operators as saying.
The decision to leave the European Union could be beneficial for British terminals which would be otherwise ‘unfairly’ affected by the new regulation because most of them are privately funded and do not receive any subsidy from local authorities.
Mark Whitworth, chief executive of Peel Ports, told Reuters that Brexit allowed British port operators to have ”a level playing field and no interference from government.”
The EU rules encompass port services such as piloting but include port charges and exemptions for state aid as well, making it more expensive for British operators and influencing their ability to control prices.
“Brexit does offer us the opportunity to say goodbye to a whole range of inappropriate and costly regulations,” James Cooper, chief executive of leading British operator Associated British Ports (ABP), was quoted by Reuters as saying.
43 ports in Britain out of 319 in total would be affected by the EU regulations.
Peel Ports and Associated British Ports (ABP) – both privately owned groups – intend to press on with their investment programs despite the country’s exit from the EU.
Peel Ports has invested more than GBP 300 million (USD 393 million) in Liverpool’s deepwater container terminal, which is expected to be opened in October this year.
ABP also plans to make investments worth GBP 1 billion over the next four to five years.