UK Chamber members say a transitional Brexit deal is necessary
A survey carried out by the UK Chamber of Shipping has found that a majority of its members believe that the general election result will damage the economy and hinder the Brexit negotiation process, and that a deal on transitional arrangements must be struck with the EU as the Article 50 process unfolds.
The study, which was carried out among the UK's biggest shipping companies, found that 62.5% of the 107 respondents felt some level of concern over the effect that the June 8th general election will have on the economy, with nearly 9% describing themselves as "very concerned".
68% of those surveyed said that they would not welcome another general election within the next 12 months, with several respondents adding that an election would only serve as a distraction to the Brexit negotiations. Only 22% said that they would welcome another election in the next 12 months.
Less than one in five respondents said that the result of the June 8 election would make the negotiation process easier, with nearly 56% predicting that the election result – which failed to produce a majority government – would make it harder for the UK to strike a mutually beneficial deal with Brussels.
The UK Chamber of Shipping represents nearly 200 of the UK's biggest shipping and maritime organisations, in a sector that is responsible for the movement of 95% of the UK international trade. Key to the maritime industries, as Brexit negotiations get underway, will the the preservation of frictionless trade with the EU.
Speaking about the minority government's ability to successfully carry out the negotiation process, one respondent said "unless the Tories come to their senses and open the EU negotiations up to other parties within the UK, as a sensible coalition of ideas, the negotiations are unlikely to be successful." Others expressed concerns that the UK would now be forced to make more concessions to Brussels as negotiations go on.
The biggest consensus among respondents came when asked about the need for transitional arrangements to be put in place as the Article 50 process gets underway. A massive 92% of respondents said they believe it to be necessary, with less than 2% saying it wasn't. One respondent commented that the election results may now force a softer Brexit, which would make a transitional deal more likely.