According to Nautilus' General Secretary, Mark Dickinson, Maersk will be taking their remaining vessels off the UK Ship Register. Moreover, amongst Maersk's decision is to end the training of UK cadets.
Indeed, there will be a significant reduction of cadets that Maersk recruits from countries such as South Africa and UK. However, the company mentioned that all Cadets will be given the opportunity to complete their contractual training period to qualify as an Officer of the Watch.
In addition, Maersk addressed reports that it would remove its remaining vessels off the UK flag and exit the UK Tonnage Tax. It said that it does not have any container ships flying the UK flag since 2015, while Maersk Supply Services does not have any offshore supply vessels carrying the UK flag. As for the UK Tonnage Tax, it clarified that it will continue to fulfil its statutory commitment.
After the Brexit announcement, from November 2018 there were 1,306 vessels of over 500 GT (gross tonnage) per ship registered with the British flag, down from 1,317 in 2017, 1,328 in 2016, 1,330 in 2015 and 1,327 in 2014.
The possibility of a 'no deal Brexit' arises, since earlier in January, Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal had been rejected by 230 votes. This is the largest defeat for a government in history. Namely, MPs voted by 432 votes to 202 to reject the deal, which describes how the UK willl exit from the EU on 29 March.
In addition, ECSA noted that without a deal the consequences on the fluidity of trade between the EU and UK will be huge, as they will affect shipowners, logistics partners, passengers and consumers.
Concluding, ECSA added that if the withdrawal agreement is voted through, the implementation period will give the UK and EU time to prepare and there will finally be the needed certainty for shipping operators to prepare, in order to ensure a frictionless trade.