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UK maritime and business bodies call for calm after Brexit vote

UK maritime and business bodies call for calm after Brexit vote
With the dust still to settle five days after the UK’s unexpected referendum vote to leave the EU, several of the country’s maritime and business bodies moved to try and restore a sense of normality yesterday.

Seafarers’ union Nautilus International called for “calm” among British shipowners and warned against any “rash statements or pre-emptive measures.” This followed reports that Sweden’s Stena Line, which operates some ferries on the Irish Sea, is considering the possibility of re-registering its UK-flagged vessels.

Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson has written to the UK Chamber of Shipping asking it to “provide a clear message on behalf of British shipowners that the UK maritime industry remains open for business – with a continued commitment to… growing the national flag and regenerating the pool of British seafarers.”

Meanwhile, recently elected Mayor of London Sadiq Khan yesterday appointed a deputy mayor for business tasked with safeguarding the interests of financial district the City, successful businessman Rajesh Agrawal.

Before the referendum, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Lord Mountevans, had told Seatrade Maritime News: “if the UK were to vote to leave, the City would still be a strong financial centre with a new set of challenges that we would address.”

Mountevans is himself a shipbroker (with Clarksons) and chairman of UK professional maritime services promotional body Maritime London, which yesterday put out a statement saying, “the immediate priority is to consult with stakeholders and then work with government to ensure they are briefed as to the requirements of industry in readiness for their future discussions with the EU”.

“The UK maritime industry and Maritime London remain committed to maintaining the UK at the forefront of the global maritime sector,” the statement concluded. “The expertise, experience and ethos of trust remain, and will continue for the future."