The UK Chamber of Shipping has published a new study that analyses the impact of the European Union (EU) on the UK’s shipping industry.
The study highlights the effects of single market and EU regulation on the £10bn shipping industry supporting almost 500,000 UK jobs.
With the maritime industry now heavily regulated by international, EU and national authorities, the study is primarily designed to assist the UK Prime Minister in deciding what should be negotiated for the growth of the industry.
Additionally, the study analyses the current position of the UK Government in influencing affairs related to maritime policy in Brussels.
According to the report, the EU ever closer union is ‘distracting’ and its relevance in the 21st century should be questioned.
The study recommends that the European Commission should focus on improving the single market and act as a ‘watchdog’ that protects free trade.
It appeals the EU’s ‘Europe where possible’ approach to be replaced with ‘Europe where necessary’ to avoid mission creep.
The study also proposed the review of existing regulations while bringing out transparency in their formulation, thus enabling the removal of unnecessary, failed or outdated regulation.
UK Chamber Director of Policy David Balston said: "The shipping industry relies on trade, and any mechanism that can encourage free trade is something we instinctively support.
"But there is no doubt that the impact of some EU regulations places the UK and other European nations at a competitive disadvantage.
"Shipping has a global regulator, the International Maritime Organisation, which creates a global level playing field.
"But when a regional power such as the EU creates its own regulation, then that global level playing field becomes distorted, and major maritime nations such as the UK feel the impact more than most."