The government pledged today that Britain’s £15bn maritime industry will go from strength to strength in the wake of Brexit, as it devises an export plan to help bolster trade opportunities.
Speaking ahead of a roundtable with international industry figures at 10 Downing Street, transport secretary Chris Grayling said today that leaving the European Union “will allow Britain to seize new opportunities and rediscover our heritage as a truly global, seafaring, trading nation”.
The government said it will work with industry to deliver an ambitious export plan for when Britain leaves the EU, boosting trade opportunities, increasing jobs, and providing more investment in new technologies. It also wants maritime employers to double the number of apprenticeships they offer, and collaborate more with industry partners, as part of this drive.
Grayling is planning for a public discussion to help shape the future of the maritime industry, up to 2050 and beyond, and assess how the government can encourage future growth in the industry which supports at least 111,000 jobs, and contribute £15bn to the UK economy each year.
The meeting today with maritime leaders, which comes as London International Shipping Week kicks off, will focus on identifying post-Brexit opportunities.
The government has already announced plans to shake-up the procurement of naval ships, make the UK's maritime industry more competitive, and grow the Royal Navy fleet by the 2030s.
The transport secretary added: “Our maritime industry, far from being a story of the past, is a thriving success story – worth around £15bn a year to our economy and supporting a quarter of a million jobs. This government is determined to work with the maritime industry to help it grow significantly and make the UK a world leader for shipping business.”