This tweet from the MP for Wealden which first appeared at around midday on Thursday was retweeted by her at 8am today so it is clearly a theme she is passionate about. The tweet promotes this article which is published in The National which is a Middle East journalism context. Nus Ghani’s own constituency does not have any coastal territory but it is close to the English channel. For two years she was a Minister responsible for maritime issues so this is a theme she would have been familiar with. However less than a month after her role was ended by Boris Johnson she was appointed as the trade, maritime, security and terrorism adviser to the Conservative run Think Tank called Policy Exchange and so there are elements that will no doubt be in her commercial interest. According to her Register for Interests Ms Ghani who was the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport from January 2018 to 13 February 2020 was then “From 9 March 2020 until further notice, a Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange (think tank), 8-10 Great George Street, Westminster, London SW1P 3AE. I receive £20,000 a year for providing advice on trade, maritime, security and terrorism. Hours: expected to be 15 hrs a month. (Registered 01 May 2020)”
So given that we are currently due to depart from the European Union on 31st December which is presumably the time point she is referring to in her tweet, surely this is a call for us to extend our transitional period with the EU if as now looks certain will not include a trade agreement. The decision by the Government to purchase a 27 Acre piece of land for a Brexit Lorry Park is of course a challenge in itself, but if in addition to the slow down of transport from Europe, a great deal of which comes in from the Channel Tunnel and local ship arrangements, there is to be a major reduction in ships coming in, and going out to other parts of the world, our economy will be even more heavily challenged than many of us have been aware of. There is a very strong argument in addition for the UK Government, given our sea based experience to work with the EU and with other nations to try to resolve the issues that Nusrat Ghani is raising in her two tweets. Of course the challenge for her is that she is a big fan of the Brexit decision. However this is a very strong reason for her to stand up and be clear that right now with COVID-19 impacting the maritime industry, that all nations must come together to try to resolve these issues.