Discussing Brexit with UK Minister
European Shippers’ Council and evofenedex expressed their concerns about the post-Brexit situation in their discussion with Baroness Rona Fairhead, the UK Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion. Shippers’ concerns include the need for the mutual recognition of driving permits, landing rights, and authorisations in the air sector. Finding a solution to the Irish challenge could help to safeguard a transition period until December 2020.
During this one-hour exchange of views that took place in the Netherlands in September 2018, Baroness Fairhead expressed her position on the current situation in the negotiations in general and more specifically on the UK position. The industry stated the vital issues that should be prioritised in the negotiations.
As perceived by the shippers, Baroness Fairhead saw more pragmatism in the British proposals than in those of the EU27. For trade cooperation, she pointed out that the UK and the EU27 have the same starting point to enter into international agreements. In addition, to facilitate border processes between the UK and the Netherlands, both countries could make use of such similarities as an identical automation system for customs and a similar approach to risk management and they could also look for similarities to have common export and import controls. ESC Secretary General Godfried Smit and Director of evofenedex Bart-Jan Koopman also stressed that the implementation of common transit arrangements could help to diminish pressure in the border processes.
Baroness Fairhead also asked the industry’s opinion about the Chequers report – a key white paper published in July 2018 by the UK Government laying out the type of relationship the UK seeks to have with the EU after Brexit. In shippers’ view, the report contains constructive proposals, however, it would be difficult to implement them in the European “acquis”.
Baroness Fairhead took note of the shippers’ remarks and both sides, the industry and the Minister expressed their willingness to continue the discussion in future.
Please find the link to the Chequers report here.