Hands off British ports – that’s the message to European Union officials from UKIP Transport spokesman Jill Seymour. She told the Strasbourg chamber that regulation of port services was neither required, nor wanted, in the United Kingdom.
Mrs Seymour was speaking in a debate on ‘market access to port services and financial transparency of ports’ where the EU has been making a third attempt to push through a new directive.
She said: “Unlike most of continental Europe, the UK has very competitive ports, with the lion’s share in the private sector.
“The EU has tried to regulate ports without success on two previous occasions, and this is the third attempt.
“As the majority of ports in the UK are privately owned, successful and efficient, it is not for the EU to regulate British ports.”
She added: “With the Brexit referendum on June 23, the people of the United Kingdom will vote to leave, and we will free ourselves from the excessive rules, regulations and red tape imposed by this place
“We will then rejoin the rest of the world, and take back our freedom to run and operate our own businesses.
“Britain has a long and proud history trading with the world, and our ports are the doors to our prosperity.
“Port services regulation will do more harm than good, and the UK will be better off out.”
Mrs Seymour’s view is backed by UK port operator Associated British Ports (ABP) and union Unite, who have both sent representatives to Strasbourg this week to argue against the proposals.