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18th April 2016 - Press Release

EU referendum creates uncertainty at the gateway to Europe

The Port of Dover's stakeholders have gathered to consider what the EU referendum might mean for the Port, its customers and community.

The Port of Dover handles up to £119bn of trade, 2.5m freight vehicles and 13 million passengers and holds a special place within the UK as the closest port to mainland Europe. The Port is investing in short and long-term capacity to ensure the on-going resilience of this key UK-European trade route whilst working to deliver a key regeneration project for Dover.

Against this backdrop, the Port decided to organise a special debate in order to explore areas of concern with interests ranging from freight and passenger transport operators, trade associations, business groups and service providers to a range of employee and local community representatives.

Reflecting on the debate, Tim Waggott, Chief Executive, Port of Dover, said:

“From our wide-ranging stakeholder discussions, the only thing we can categorically say is that the EU referendum is creating uncertainty and this has been echoed by our many stakeholders. As an island nation, ports will always be important and as the closest point to mainland European markets the Port of Dover will be especially so.

“However, while we are preparing to invest in major long-term infrastructure projects of national importance, greater cautiousness by banks and investors, a weakened pound and the potential impact on investment and tourism, questions over access to EU funding, potential significant changes to border control processes and the infrastructure this might require all make for a pretty uncertain future.

“The Port of Dover will do whatever it needs to do in order to continue delivering for Dover and the nation, but Dover and the Port of Dover need investment and wish to create more job opportunities. The uncertainty surrounding the UK’s future, whether that is in or out of Europe, is helping neither.”

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