CEO Bulletin: Brexit's back

The long weekend has been and gone, children have gone back to school after nearly six months away and today we have had Brexit back on the front pages.
 
As we move into the final quarter of the year, we expect more discussions with government over exactly how they are going to implement new customs policies. We have long been pressing government on the need to engage with business, to move quickly and to listen to the experts. The time for talking is almost over. With only four months to go we need to see government step up and address some of the issues around IT, infrastructure and future trade agreements. If members have specific concerns around Brexit please reach out to our policy expert Gavin Simmonds.
 
It has also been another confusing week around quarantine rules. The latest advice on Portugal, with restrictions for those travelling back to Scotland and Wales, but not England, will confuse travellers even more, when what we need is clarity. The restrictions generally have had a detrimental effect on ferry operations, but we continue to work with DfT to encourage international passenger travel, but the quarantine rules must be looked at regularly to check they are still fit for purpose.  
 
On Wednesday we held an excellent webinar on the prospects of Methanol being a fuel of the future. Thanks to Lloyd’s Register and the Methanol Institute for running this great webinar with us. Next week we have a Safety Culture Seminar on Monday where we will be joined by the Health and Safety Executive, the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency and Bibby Marine to look at the culture of safety and how improvements can be made. There will also be a CEO forum chaired by our Vice President and Chief Executive of V.Group Graham Westgarth. It promises to be a high level, thought provoking session. 
 
And on Wednesday our excellent Understanding UK Shipping course will be taking place. If you haven’t booked your tickets for these events yet please go to our website for more details.
 
I was pleased to see this week the launch of a new training standard between the Merchant Navy Training Board and OPITO, the global skills organisation for the energy industry, to support the transition of marine personnel into the oil and gas industry. It is vital we give our mariners the opportunity to upskill themselves and this is an important development on that journey.
 
Finally, it has been announced that Emma Batchelor will be standing down as the Director of Discover Ferries next week and Kevin George as Chair. I would like to thank both of them for all the work we have done together and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. From ensuring ferries could keep bringing the much-needed food and medical supplies into the UK at the beginning of the year, to playing an important role in getting passengers back on board this summer. I wish both the best of luck, and congratulations to Abby Penlington the new Director and Nigel Wonnacott the new Chair. I look forward to working with both in the future.
 
Bob