The UK Chamber of Shipping has called on MPs to reject the Withdrawal Bill amendment that seeks EEA membership for the UK after Brexit.
Jonathan Roberts, Communications Director at the UK Chamber of Shipping said: “MPs should reject demands for the UK to join the EEA after Brexit – the so called ‘Norway model’. We cannot allow the UK to become the only major economy in the world to have no say in the rules and regulations its economy lives under.
“Proponents of the Norway option fail to recognise the vast difference between our two economies. Norway’s economy is far smaller and far less diverse. It pays significant sums towards the European Union but has no say in what the EU does.
“Membership of the EEA would leave the UK economy uniquely exposed. It would be entirely feasible that new EU regulations could be designed specifically to limit the global power of British services, and the UK would have no choice but to implement them.”
“The EEA amendment is nothing but a distraction from the real issue. MPs should focus on one key thing – keeping trade moving quickly and efficiently between the UK and the EU. That will require some form of customs partnership with obligations on both sides.
Regarding the ongoing debate regarding ‘Max Fac’, Mr Roberts added: “Without doubt the world is moving towards greater use of technology in the movement of goods across borders, and government should commit to exploring and funding such options.
“The submission of customs declarations at source instead of at ports and the use of cameras with licence-plate recognition software will become more and more common in the future.
“If the UK successfully implemented such technology at major ports then it would be ahead of the curve, but it would require massive and immediate investment to have the faintest hope of being ready by 2021. Until such technological solutions can be delivered in a realistic timescale, some form of customs partnership will be necessary to allow goods to continue to move freely through ports.”