UK Chamber President slams EU ‘interference’ and claims the Scottish Government is ‘not doing enough’ to explain how independence will work


The UK Chamber of Shipping’s President, Kenneth MacLeod, expressed concern in a speech last night over European Union interference and the lack of clarity for industry ahead of the Scottish referendum.

In a wide-ranging keynote speech at the UK Chamber’s Annual Dinner, Ken MacLeod said:

“It is vital that the institutions of the European Union recognise that we are a globally regulated industry for a reason... there is surely a role for the EU to play, most notably in sustaining the single market, but when it comes to regulation, all too often they just get it wrong.”

And on the issue of Scottish independence, Mr MacLeod, who is from the Isle of Skye and lives in Glasgow, added:

“The Scottish Government has not yet done enough to explain what independence looks like for the shipping sector. The UK Chamber is working hard. We are asking the questions, we are working with the Scottish Government and we are pushing them for answers.”

The dinner gathered over 600 individuals from across the shipping sector, for one of the highlights of the industry calendar. Shipping Minister Stephen Hammond MP was the guest of honour and in his speech, paid tribute to the successful partnership that has developed between industry and government.

Stephen Hammond highlighted his priorities for shipping over the coming year which included: expanding the number of maritime training opportunities available; getting rid of unnecessary regulation and cutting taxes to help the industry grow; and developing the strategic partnership and supporting the expansion of our world-class maritime services sector.

The Minister also announced full Government support for the next London International Shipping Week in 2015, and reiterated his position as a champion for the industry:

“I said last year I wanted to be an evangelist for the shipping industry. This year, with your support, I will redouble my efforts to make Britain the best place in the world to do maritime business. Because I believe that British shipping is a huge asset to this country. To our economy, to our society and to our future.”

The Annual Dinner was sponsored by Inmarsat, Confiance Employment Services, Lloyd's Register, Holman Fenwick Willan and the UK P&I Club. The President’s chosen charity was the Sailors' Society and we hope a collection on the night raised plenty of donations for this great cause.