“Flemish ports must anticipate possible independence for Scotland”

The nationalist-environmental government of Nicola Sturgeon is considering a new independence referendum in 2023. “If Scotland becomes independent in a few years, it would like to join the EU as soon as possible,” said Jan Jambon. “Since then, she no longer wants to take her exports through England, but to send them directly to the continent by sea. This is a huge opportunity that Antwerp and Zeebrugge would have foreseen. Our ports must be ready to become. The main partner of Scots at that time”.

Minister-President Jambon is leading an economic mission to the United Kingdom from Flemish ports, which on Monday passed through Edinburgh before the port of Liverpool, London and Hull. Effects of Brexit on Customs: From January 1, all goods imported into the United Kingdom must be declared on arrival. As for the foodstuff controls, which should have already come into force, it has been postponed until September 2022, the Brexit coordinator for Belgian customs Jeroen Sarrazin indicated.

Doubts are growing about the ability of the British to achieve this and the Brexit lockdown may still arise. Flanders, for its part, says it has received 89 investments since Brexit. These are companies that were considering investing in the UK but chose Flanders, often UK companies wanting to secure their activities in Europe by opening a branch or head office. These investments amounted to 2 billion euros.

“And we believe that there will be even more economic opportunities”, declared Antwerp Alderman for Port Policy, Annick de Ridder (N-VA). “Look at all those heavy goods vehicles passing through the Channel Tunnel. If they got on a boat instead and headed for our ports, they could have announced their loads six hours earlier and avoided wasting time. ”

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