David Davis welcomes Government opposition to EU ports regulation


Sir David Davis has welcomed the Secretary of State for Transport’s reassurances that the Government will not support the proposed EU-wide Port Services Regulation in its current form.

A cross-party group of 23 MPs wrote to the Prime Minister on 7th February urging him to stop the proposed regulation. There is concern that the proposed regulation, which would force Britain to appoint a ports regulator with the powers to intervene over prices for cargo handling and using infrastructure, would remove the independence of Britain’s port operators to charge market rates for their services, thereby threatening investment and jobs.

The Rt. Hon. Patrick McLoughlin has responded to these concerns, stating that, “I do indeed recognize the significant impacts to which the UK ports sector would be exposed if the proposal were to be adopted in its current form … It is important for the UK vigorously to argue the case for UK ports and shipping, and to maintain our dialogue and influence with both the Commission and the current Greek Presidency in seeking the removal of the least acceptable elements of the proposal.”

In response Mr Davis said:

“It is to be welcomed that the Government is responding to concern that this unnecessary regulation will damage the free market rather than freeing it up and will pose a threat to regional economies and employment.”