£30m Government fund was created to improve the resilience of the UK’s ports, particularly in the event of a no-deal Brexit on October 31. Tony McDonough reports
Peel Ports has secured a slice of a £30m Government fund to to create extra capacity at the ports of Liverpool, Heysham and Sheerness ahead of the October 31 Brexit deadline.
The fund was created to improve the resilience of the UK’s ports, particularly in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Whether Britain leaves the EU with or without a deal, or even leaves at all, is still unclear as the political battles continue in Westminster.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged the UK will leave on October 31 but opposition parties, who have already passed a law designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit, may attempt to form a temporary Government and secure an extension from Brussels.
Peel Ports hasn’t specified exactly how much funding it has received. It says the cash will go towards creating more space for HGV parking and container storage to support smooth trade operations by RORO (roll-on, roll-off) ferries, especially across the Irish Sea.
Chief executive Mark Whitworth said: “We are doing everything we can to help our customers continue delivering import and export trade throughout our port network. This government funding helps us to put in place additional measures to achieve that.
“Whatever happens after 31 October we are as ready as we can be to facilitate global commerce that will benefit the UK economy.”
Announcing the funding, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, said: “Our world-leading maritime ports are fundamental not only to our success as a global trading nation but also to people’s everyday lives, bringing vital goods into the country.
“This timely investment will support ports across the country in their work to boost capacity and efficiency, ensuring they’re ready for Brexit and a successful future.”