Jobs could be lost at the Port of Tyne and Teesport if a controversial proposal passes the European Parliament, a local UKIP Euro-MP has warned. The proposed Port Services Regulation (PSR) will be put before the European Parliament on Tuesday, and has a substantial impact on privately-owned ports. As most continental ports are in public ownership, but most British ports are in private ownership, the United Kingdom will be the most affected.
Ports will be forced to contract out services and appoint at least two service providers, even if only one is required. This will undermine the competitiveness of local ports in what is already a tough market. The proposed PSR would also undermine commercial confidentiality.
UK Independence Party MEP Jonathan Arnott is concerned at the impact the Regulations would have on Teesport: “This proposal is yet another kick in the teeth for hard-working people. Our local economy is under severe strain, and our transport links are a huge part of the fact that the North East is a net exporting region. We simply can’t afford to risk further loss of jobs at a time when our region already has the highest unemployment in the country. The proposal is a timely reminder that staying in the EU actually carries a substantial risk to local people’s jobs.”
The United Kingdom has the Europe’s second-largest port sector, with 344,000 direct and indirect jobs across the country. The British Ports Association oppose the Regulation. Over 75% of UK ports are privately funded and do not receive government subsides compared to mainland Europe where 80% are run by the state or local authorities with taxpayer subsidies, causing unique problems in the UK.