Shipping is UK's saving grace, says ferry boss
The importance of the shipping industry
to the UK economy has been stressed by P&O Ferries chief
executive Helen Deeble in her role as president of the UK Chamber
At the chamber’s annual dinner this week, she told guests,
including Shipping Minister Stephen Hammond, the industry was worth
more to the economy than aviation and rail.
“We quietly and efficiently go about transporting 95% of the
UK’s international trade, helping to keep Britain open for business
and connecting its goods and people with markets in Europe and
around the globe.
“Here in the UK, we are already a global player in shipping and
maritime services. There are few industries where we already have
that world ranking.
“We need to do all we can to protect that position.”
Mrs Deeble said she didn’t need to spell out that they were in the
grip of one of the most pernicious recessions that they had ever
“No industry, no business, and indeed no household can escape
the fierce realities of the economic climate. We pride ourselves on
being a truly global industry. So it stands to reason that, in a
prolonged and global economic downturn, we would face unprecedented
“There is, however, amongst the gloom, some encouraging
“The latest Oxford Economics study for our industry shows that,
in the midst of this recession, we have successfully created over
7,000 more jobs.
“More than half a million jobs in this country are now dependent
on the maritime services sector – think about the families, the
homes, the people, that are involved here – so at a time of concern
about job creation we had better look after these jobs.”
She said the maritime services sector provided eight and a half
billion pounds in tax receipts to the UK exchequer.
“It is proof positive that a strong, stable and competitive
fiscal regime can deliver not just for the industry, but for the
wider community too.”
Mrs Deeble said the single market had allowed for unprecedented
growth in trade, and the shipping community must pay close
attention as Prime Minister David Cameron set course for 2015 and a
possible in-out referendum in 2017.
“I don’t know what will happen if we leave the EU. I suspect
neither do the politicians,” she said. “But what we do know is that
to isolate ourselves, at a time when others are forging new
alliances, is a huge risk to take.”
- Click here for more Deal, Dover and Sandwich news...
- Click here for more news from across the county...