According to BPA’s Chief Executive Richard Ballantyne, the number one Brexit related concern for the ports sector is facilitation, with potential major challenges on Ro-Ro and ferry routes between the EU and the UK in case no free trade agreement is reached.

Ballantyne clarified that “currently freight on Ro-Ro routes, which exclusively serves EU routes, has no systematic frontier controls and requirements for customs declarations.” New and thorough control procedures at the border could cause delays to freight flows and leading to major disruptions and operational problems.

In December 2016, the BPA called for the introduction of special growth areas comprising both sea and land areas within ports in order to support jobs and trade post-Brexit. The BPA Chairman, Rodney Lunn, has written to the Transport and Environment Ministers outlining this new concept that would enable the port sector to remain competitive post-Brexit.

One of the major concerns of the British business community is free market access which might be compromised following Brexit. As a result, there is mounting pressure on the UK Government to negotiate a deal with the EU that would not result in new border controls and hampering of trade.