Doug Barrow, the chief executive of promotional and lobbying group Maritime London, has admitted to Splash the Brexit result last week has plunged the UK capital’s shipping hub credentials into doubt.
“The main requirements for a business environment are stability, certainty and predictability and the result of the referendum has removed all of that in the foreseeable future,” Barrow said today on the 52:48 vote by British citizens to quit the EU.
“We are entering unchartered territory and I think it is wise for companies to take time to reflect and consider what happens next,” Barrow added.
Last week the UK’s minister of transport Robert Goodwill warned Splash: “Anything that adversely affects our trade will also, as day follows night, also affect our ports and shipping industry.”
Nevertheless, Barrow reckoned London was a resilient city which can survive the vote to leave the EU.
“One of London’s key strengths has been the ability to adapt to change to meet new circumstances and that is what is forecast,” he said, adding: “Maritime London members will be monitoring the situation and, when appropriate, will adapt to any changes to ensure the continuing strength of the sector. As things stands, the future is unknown and it would be rash to make hasty decisions and comments.”
A number of recent surveys pre-Brexit had suggested the UK capital was slipping down the ranks of the world’s most important shipping hubs.