As uncertainty increases as to whether UK will vote to leave the EU in a June 23 referendum, the implications of its exit could cause years of disruption for the UK shipping sector, as a result of currency volatility and a reworking of trade agreements, according to Reuters.
Guy Platten, CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping Trade Association, said: “No one has left the European Union before, and the EU may seek to ‘punish’ the UK for leaving, in order to discourage others from leaving too. The Brexit negotiations are unlikely to be quick or easy.
“If it is lengthy, with tariffs and other penalties built in, then the consequences could be profoundly negative.”
Joanna Fic, Senior Analyst with ratings agency Moody's, said: “The exchange rate could have some impact on trade and therefore on the volumes handled by the UK ports.
“If sterling weakens, imports become more expensive. Given imports account for a larger chunk of movement of goods through UK ports, you could see some implications for domestic demand.”
Currently, the UK is in the process of deciding whether to leave or exit the EU.
At present, the votes are swinging more onto the ‘leave’ side, and make up 43%, while 39% have voted to stay, 18% are undecided and the remaining 1% refused to say, according to the Guardian.