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Shipowners urge for rapid and positive progress in the Brexit negotiations

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Niels Smedegaard

In view of the European Council deciding this week on whether the Brexit negotiations can enter the next phase, ECSA representing European shipowners calls for rapid and positive progress to be made towards an EU/UK agreement. Shipowners look forward to an agreement which preserves the economic benefits of existing EU/UK trade and trade flows, safeguards shipping services, the employment of seafarers and the value of the wider maritime cluster.

Shipowners sent their priorities to the Commission’s chief negotiator Mr. Barnier regarding the next phase and discussed these with members of the European Commission Task Force on article 50 who joined the ECSA Board of Directors meeting today.

Niels Smedegaard, ECSA President, said: “We need an agreement which will ensure the continuation of trade volumes and unimpeded trade movements across our shared borders. This will require a legal framework which allows these vital trades to continue to flow without delay or dislocation. The industry should be kept informed about the progress in order to be able to prepare and get ready in time.”

Mr. Smedegaard added: “European shipping stands for quality shipping. It is in essence a global business, and best served by global rules and common standards. European shipowners would like to see the Brexit negotiations respect the need for a level playing field for EU and UK shipping. We encourage the EU and UK to be guided by the objective of conformity in legislation relating to maritime affairs.”

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