UK must “live with” EU port regulation

UK must "live with" EU port regulation

The UK government appears to be wavering in its fight against the EU Port Services Regulation.

Speaking at London International Shipping Week last week, Robert Goodwill MP, UK Minister for Shipping & Ports, told delegates that the industry would have to “live with” the PSR.

“We are going to get a regulation; we won’t be able to stop it for a third time,” he said. “But we can make it better: if we manage it carefully and if we maintain the concessions we have, we can live with it. We’ve made the best of a bad job.”

However, sources close to the PSR process said that there is some way to go before the regulation is passed. While text from the European Council has been approved, the European Parliament still has to debate the regulation, with a view to coming up with its own version of the text.

“The bottom line is that there is still a long way to go. The process is only two-thirds of the way through,” said the source.

ABP chief executive James Cooper went on record during London International Shipping Week to say that the PSR would “adversely affect the balance of risk and reward for investors in our industry”.

“While this might not have much impact on our mainland cousins whose ports are almost universally state funded, the proposed changes are especially important for UK ports that rely overwhelmingly on private funding to deliver new infrastructure and facilities on behalf of their customers.”

Goodwill went on to refer to UK ports as the “foundation of our national economy”, adding that where government could cut regulation, it would.

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