A Global Maritime Power

Building a Better Future For Post-Brexit Britain

October 30, 2020

The UK is one of the world’s leading maritime nations. As it leaves the European Union, Britain’s status as a leading economic and geo-political power depends upon the strength of its maritime industry. This paper, co-authored by former Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani MP, highlights the difficulties facing the maritime sector and shows how support for our ports, shipping companies, shipbuilders and others can play a central role in the delivery of Government priorities such as the levelling-up agenda, making a success of Brexit, encouraging international trade, and supporting clean growth.

The Government risks overlooking the Maritime sector in its economic response to the Coronavirus crisis. Thus far, the Department for Transport has focused its attention primarily upon the aviation industry. There has not been comparable, or even near-comparable, engagement with the maritime sector. Both are key to British prosperity, to the movement of freight and people, and to the livelihood of many communities. The Government cannot choose between the two of them.

For many years successive governments have failed to understand that the maritime sector is one of the nation’s greatest assets. It is crucially important both strategically and economically, being fundamental to energy and food supply and the manufacturing industry. Global shipping is still effectively run from London in terms of insurance, arbitration and other shipping services. Despite this it has been overlooked by policymakers and having been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t received the same attention as other industries. This excellent new report by Policy Exchange highlights the importance of the sector, the challenges it faces, and the practical steps that can be taken to support it. Its proposals should be taken seriously at the highest levels of Government

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Benjamin Barnard

Head of Government, Politics and Technology Policy (2019-2022)

Nusrat Ghani MP

Senior Fellow

Dominic Walsh

Research Fellow, Britain in the World (2020-2021)

William Nicolle

Research Fellow, Energy and Environment.

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