Maritime is central to the new Theresa May-led government, the UK’s transport minister said yesterday.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon addressed the UK Chamber’s inaugural UK Shipping Summit, where he discussed Brexit and the nation’s new industrial strategy as well as changes at the UK flag.
“As we leave the European Union we will forge a bold and positive new role for ourselves in the world.
We must look to economic and industrial strategy, global trade and social reform to ensure Britain’s place in the world and a strong future for its citizens,” he said.
“Central to the government’s plans is our vision for an industrial strategy which is about boosting productivity, creating good jobs and delivering economic growth.
“The shipping and maritime sector as a whole, is absolutely central to the government’s vision for this strategy.”
On the reform of the UK Flag and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Lord Ahmad commented: “Reforming the UK Ship Register, creating the right conditions to support existing companies and growing the flag further must be central to our plans. As we leave the European Union and form a new relationship with it, we must present ourselves as a world-class maritime flag in a strategically advantageous location. We cannot expect to grow the UK Flag on reputation or history and if we stand still we will find ourselves moving backwards.”
In response to the minister’s comments, UK Chamber CEO Guy Platten remarked: “Now more than ever, it is vital that the government continue to press ahead with reforms to the UK Ship Register, creating a commercially responsive and agile flag able to compete with our global maritime competitors and seize upon the opportunities presented by Brexit.”