After over 40 years, the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. The success of the Leave campaign has triggered shockwaves around the world and sent sterling plunging. That has enormous implications for the country’s international trade, making exports cheaper but imports much more expensive. So what will be the effect on British Shipping?

Arctic Securities analyst Erik Stavseth said, “The car carrier and container segments may feel more of a pinch, particularly the car carrier industry, with the UK being both an important end-user and producer of cars”. Shipping sectors such as dry bulk, tankers and gas carriers may not be affected all that much, despite the risk of slower growth in commodities. Meanwhile, ship financing may get more difficult, with UK banking shares down by about a fifth on the day the referendum results were announced, resulting in more lending from the east”, Mr Stavseth said.

Shipping giant MSC who employ around 600 people in the United Kingdom stated some good news, “As the UK’s largest container carrier by import and export teu volumes, and with the widest port range, we see our presence in the country as enormously important in enabling us to manage such a significant share of containerised trade. MSC is committed to the UK market and is confident that global trade will remain an essential part of the British economy.”

Maersk were not so positive saying, “We consider it a loss that the UK has decided to leave the EU as it reduces the size of the internal market and over time potentially makes trading more complicated. This is likely to be a disadvantage to EU and UK growth opportunities and ambitions.”

Lloyds have warned the London market’s access to the EU would “not be as good” as the access enjoyed at present, but senior executives within the London market have been keen to stress the sector’s ability to weather the Brexit storm.

One positive outcome is that the United Kingdom will not have to abide by the European Union’s sanctions against certain countries, notably, Russia, which could open up some new trade.

Whatever happens, I am confident that the United Kingdom will emerge stronger in the long run, and what a relief to have some of the idiotic European Union rules that stifle businesses removed once and for all. Rule Britannia!

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