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GORDON HENDERSON MP

FOR SITTINGBOURNE & SHEPPEY

MP urges rejection of European Commission move for Port Services Regulation

10th February 2014
MP urges rejection of European Commission move for Port Services Regulation

Gordon Henderson is one of a number of members of Parliament who have co-signed a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to reject a European Commission move to impose a European Union wide Port Services Regulation.

The letter, written by former Labour minister, John Denholm MP, and signed by 24 MPs, explains that the regulation would affect the commercial freedom of British ports, including, Sheerness, and would undermine the ability of ports to attract investment, something that is crucial for the long term prosperity of Sheerness.

Mr Henderson said:

“I was delighted to co-sign John Denholm’s letter because I am very concerned about yet another threat to British business by the unelected European Commission.

“British ports are vital to the future economic prosperity of our country and locally the Port of Sheerness is an important element in our drive to increase employment on the Isle of Sheppey.

“If the EU tries to impose a Port Services Regulation on British ports then that will not only be an attack on the nation’s prosperity, but the prosperity of our local community.

“It is for that reason that I am more than happy to join forces with colleagues from all political parties to try to persuade the Prime Minister to oppose this regulation.”

ENDS

Letter to the Prime Minister:

The European Commission is currently seeking to impose an EU-wide Port Services Regulation which will damage the UK ports industry.

The UK ports market is considered to be the most fiercely competitive in Europe and, uniquely, UK ports are largely in the private sector. The Commission's proposed Regulation will interfere with the commercial freedom of our ports and undermine their ability to attract investment in essential national infrastructure.

As an island nation, our ports are essential for jobs, investment and economic growth. Some 95% of the UK's trade in goods moves by sea. Our major ports contribute £21 billion to GDP every year and support over 400,000 jobs. Over the past five years alone, investment by the UK's major ports has helped create 50,000 new jobs.

Despite the failure of two previous attempts to introduce a similar regulation, the Commission appears determined to press ahead with its flawed one-size-fits-all approach. We strongly urge the Government to resist this intrusion and protect the independence of the nation's ports.

It is essential that the proposed EU Port Services Regulation is stopped to protect the national interest.

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