Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Brexit could ‘threaten port jobs’, claims Suffolk MEPas he visits Port of Felixstowe

Byron McGinley, Paul Davey, Phil Pemberton, MEP Richard Howitt, Vaughn Bentley, Miles Hubbard and Stephen Abraham.
Britain’s busiest container terminal became the focus again yesterday for the EU vote debate – as portworkers were told leaving the European Union could threaten their future prospects.

06:00 18 May 2016

MEP Richard Howitt visited the Port of Felixstowe to meet with workers
Euro MP Richard Howitt met portworkers and directors – including chief operating officer Stephen Abraham – to warn about the dangers of Brexit.
Some 26% of exports from Felixstowe go to Europe and Mr Howitt claimed changes could cause uncertainty which could effect more than 2,500 local jobs.
The Labour MEP has consistently championed British ports and port workers over European legislation and has twice fought EU Port Services Regulation laws due to concerns over employment rights, safety and investment.
The most recent proposals sought to ensure equal access to ports for shipping companies, but Mr Howitt felt it could mean unfair subsidies in other countries which could undermine fair competition.
He said: “Unless Britain remains in the European Union after June 23 there will be a huge uncertainty when it comes to handling trade.
“That is bad for trade, bad for business and bad for Felixstowe. That is why I am pleased to visit the Port of Felixstowe today where the ‘remain’ vote is hugely backed not just by directors but by workers as well.
“Trade with the European Union has given workers job security as well as better rights at work such as paid holiday and fair working conditions.
“The ports which I represent are a major engine for jobs and growth.
“Space for one million sq ft of new distribution space was added just last year at Felixstowe.”
Prime Minister David Cameron also made a keynote speech on Europe to employees, port customers and councillors during a visit to the port – pointing out the importance of the 500 million people market of which Britain is a part and which Felixstowe, marketed as the Port of Britain, is a vital component.
Clemence Cheng, chief executive of Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd, said: “26% of exports from Felixstowe go to other European Union countries and, during his speech, Mr Cameron acknowledged that good trading relations are important with all countries to help the UK economy continue to thrive.”

  • The biggest threat to Felixstowe docks is the road network supplying it !!! Forget the EU arguments that's just scaremongering as we all know the European countries who export to Britain in large numbers like Vw , Mercedes etc would want their exports to be competitive , it works both ways Mr Howitt and Businesses have far more say than politicians .
    Wednesday, May 18, 2016
  • Well he would say that as he is so concerned about his current monthly income as a very well paid MEP. I'm voting LEAVE so good luck RH in getting a real job in the wealth creating private sector instead of sucking the teat of the EU cash cow.
    Steve Blake
    Wednesday, May 18, 2016
  • I'd like to challenge Mr Howitt's claim that the remain vote is "hugely" supported by the workers at the port.... I personally know of 6 who have claimed they would like to "remain" over all shifts..... I wouldn't call that "huge" support.... but then, what would I know.
  • the message to our honourable "MEP" is its sink or swim Howitt do not embarrass the labour party any more than its leader has already done with his cringworthy pro EU stance, him of all people, its time some of our local councillors also nailed there colours to the mast for future reference, the public are not stupid our police, hospitals, schools, and to many other services have been left to deal with out of control migration with no end even slightly in sight what a mess, yes there is money in a lot of peoples pockets at the moment more by luck than any government policy's, unstoppable uncheckable crime tourism of the worst kind is out there in our towns and cities and we welcomed them in ?
    Wednesday, May 18, 2016
  • That's the trouble with all the hectoring going on in the leadup to the vote, all the things that may or could happen if the vote is to leave rather than sticking to the certainties. What is certain if we leave is that all the UK MEPs will lose their jobs and Europeans will lose a legal right to come here and work. Most other things are speculation although we would stop paying for Europe's waste.
    Wednesday, May 18, 2016

  • So the turkeys should be voting for Christmas? Vote to stay in Europe even though they want to introduce legislation so that shipping companies provide the shore labour and not the Port of Felixstowe. Next you will be reporting that the UK Government wants us to stay in Europe but wants to introduce legislation preventing European courts overruling our courts on Human Rights! Gobble, gobble.

  • Translation: A "Brexit" (UK leaving the EU) will lose this MEP *HIS* job... So actually, it isn't complete fantasy that jobs will be lost as a result of a Leave vote, including our MEPs and the subsequent retirement of Nigel Farage. I am sure no tears will be shed as these few people lose their jobs. A shift in the attitudes of agencies recruiting workers from our job centres as opposed to importing a large number from the EU without first advertising here, means that actually the unemployment rate may fall as a result of a Leave vote; although there will never be full employment and I doubt it would fall by that big of a percentage (however, much relevant in comparison to the scaremongering of higher unemployment figures going about). Felixstowe Port is pretty safe, the only concerns are rival ports taking their business (as opposed to a smaller import or export market) which is likely to happen due to lack of infrastructure problems in decades to come.
    Ipswich Entrepreneur
    Wednesday, May 18, 2016
  • The next thing Richard Hewitt will be telling us that we have the EU to thank for giving us the Queen because she has German blood. Having run major container line deep sea trades, the intra-European service operations at Felixstowe are very much a secondary concern. The major consortia and lines operating at Felixstowe are deep sea operators. It is only our oil and gas to Germany and Netherlands which make EU exports look vaguely respectable. Instead of being transfixed with an insular and inward and being little Europeans, we should be pursuing bigger global markets.
    Mark Ling
    Wednesday, May 18, 2016
  • Scaremongering MEP worried about having to find a job when we leave the eu!

  • It will make a difference. FXT will surely suffer as they will no longer be able to tranship to R'dam and elsewhere without documentation as they can now. Why would shippers go through two lots of clearance procedures when they can cut FXT out and ship straight to the continent?
    Wednesday, May 18, 2016
  • and how many imports come from europe, again only half the story.
    Wednesday, May 18, 2016
  • If jobs do go I suspect the first to go would be those taken by foreign migrants?

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