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Portsmouth MP welcomes in Brittany Ferries’ Salamanca

Stephen Morgan MP welcomed Brittany Ferries’ new Salamanca vessel to Portsmouth today during a reception held at Portsmouth International Portsmouth.

The new LNG-powered, more environmentally friendly ship is set for its first commercial voyage on Sunday and to serve along Portsmouth routes. The city MP took a tour round the new ship meeting staff.

Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan, said:

“It was great to finally welcome Salamanca to Portsmouth today and encouraging see a new, more environmentally friendly vessel that will serve along Portsmouth routes.

“Brittany Ferries plays an important role in our city’s economy, but as one of the first cities in the country to declare a climate emergency and local waters under threat from pollution, its pleasing to see steps it has taken to help protect our local environment now and for the years to come.

“I look forward to the Salamanca becoming a more familiar sight when looking out across the seafront, as she serves our city and supports our economic recovery from the pandemic.”

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City MP reacts to Portsmouth’s Port’s new ‘ambitious’ 20-year masterplan

Stephen Morgan MP has welcomed Portsmouth International Port’s (PIP) new 20-year masterplan, launched earlier today.

The £92m 20-year Masterplan is expected to generate £739m over next ten years and secure over 11,000 jobs over the next 20.

£357m is expected to be generated for the local economy by 2042, up from roughly £187m it currently does now.

The Masterplan that will focus on:

  • Expansion of port land to cater for increase in unaccompanied freight
  • Extension of berth to cater for ships up to 300m
  • Extension to 25m for ships exiting the port
  • Creation of out-of-city pre gate and storage facilities
  • Smart technology to manage cargo and passenger flow
  • Sustainable infrastructure to manage alternative power demands
  • Achieve net zero by 2030
  • Facilitate a new electric ferry service
  • Upgrade facilities at international cargo terminal Portico
  • New Border Control Post

Mr Morgan lobbied government on behalf of PIP for £32m of funding in October 2020 from the government’s Port Infrastructure Fund, to prepare for new customs arrangements, allowing it to adapt to the government’s own new Border Operating Model.

However, the city port was only handed £17.1m of what it asked for – leaving a very large of shortfall of at least £7m and many businesses dependent on the port in the dark.

Government has also so far ignored the port’s further request for funding for all its originally planned new Border Control Points, and without it, the port will have no facility to use to check the 30,000 breeding animals that are expected to come through each year.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“Portsmouth Port’s success is our city’s success, so I am delighted to learn how it will continue to create thousands of jobs, supporting our local economy and our national prosperity for many more years to come.

“The port’s new masterplan offers an exciting and ambitious future for Portsmouth, supporting the next generation through good quality work at a key asset for our city, providing lifelong career opportunities for local young people to take pride in.

“I am proud that the city’s port is putting environmental ambitions at the centre of its plans, working with partners who share these values, as they have a moral obligation to future generations to do so. 

“As a council-owned port, society and economy must go hand in hand, and it also means that decisions can be made based on wider benefits.

“I’ve been relentlessly lobbying ministers to get the support our port needs, but government has continued to short-change our city. I will continue to speak up for the port to secure the investment it deserves.

“The delivery of these plans is now essential to ensure Portsmouth International Port remains one of the prize assets of our city and the country that we can all be proud of. I look forward to continuing to support these efforts to ensure it happens.”

The City MP was particularly supportive of targets included within the plan to reach carbon net-zero by 2030, and become the UK’s first zero emission port by 2050.

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Portsmouth MP welcomes ‘exciting’ new partnership between Subsea Craft and UoP to develop cutting-edge maritime technology

Stephen Morgan MP has welcomed a new partnership between Portsmouth-based Subsea Craft and the University of Portsmouth to develop cutting-edge maritime technology.

The partnership, funded by Subsea and by £220,000 made available by Innovate UK through the ‘Knowledge Transfer Partnership’ programme, will run for two years and see two new researchers (KTP Associates) join Subsea, with the company also gaining access to knowledge from the School of Energy and Electronic Engineering in the Faculty of Technology at the university.

The resultant technology will form part of the wider digital offer Subsea Craft are preparing alongside their flagship product, VICTA – the world’s most advanced diver-delivery unit that is capable of travelling at up to 40kts above surface, before rapidly moving sub-surface. The partnership will deliver vital digital capabilities that will further enhance those already embedded in VICTA.

The team at the University of Portsmouth, led by Professor Victor Becerra – who will be supported by Dr Edward Smart, Dr Hongjie Ma, and two researchers – has extensive experience in the industry.

The new agreement is expected to improve the university’s already expert knowledge in the sector, and provide them with another strategic business link in their region. For the associates being hired, it will provide the opportunity to work in a high-skilled advanced role, bringing more high-quality jobs to Portsmouth.

Visiting Subsea Craft’s facility in Portsmouth Harbour today, Portsmouth South MP and Shadow Armed Forces Minister Stephen Morgan, said:

“I am delighted to see an innovative local SME partnering with the University to develop world-leading new technology here in our city.

“This partnership will not only deliver the next generation of marine technology for commercial and navy ships, it also drives the creation of the high skilled jobs that are crucial for our city’s economic success.

“I can think of no better place to begin this ground-breaking work than in the home and heart of the Royal Navy and I wish the project team every success.”

Scott Verney, CEO at Subsea, added:

“This partnership is not only a great one for Subsea as we continue to develop cutting edge maritime technology, but a good one for Portsmouth as a whole.

“Our ambition is to create a centre of maritime technology excellence at our HQ in the Camber, and this work with the University is a huge part of that.”

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Portsmouth MP calls Government out for delay in funding for Portsmouth Port

Stephen Morgan MP questioned Ministers in the House of Commons today on why the government has still not afforded the alternative funding Portsmouth International Port was promised.

Back in December Michael Gove MP said the government was exploring alternative funding for Portsmouth’s Port, but so far, no such funding has been provided from central government.

Portsmouth International Port applied for £32m of funding in October from the government’s Port Infrastructure Fund, to prepare for new customs arrangements that were originally set to come in this July, allowing it to adapt to the government’s own new Border Operating Model.

However, the city port was only handed £17.1m of what it asked for – leaving a very large of shortfall of almost £15m.

Meanwhile, the government has also so far ignored the port’s further request for funding for the new Border Control Points, and without it, they will have no facility to use to check the 30,000 breeding animals that are expected to come through each year.

Portsmouth’s local authority owned port contributes around £135m to Portsmouth’s local economy, over 1420 local jobs as well as close to £390m to the national economy each year.

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said:

Whilst it is welcome the government has finally listened to local concerns on the deadline for facilities to be fully ready for the new Border Operating Model, it now needs to make good on its promise for alternative funding.

“Government cannot continue to chronically underfund our local council, but meanwhile expect it to cough up the cash for this huge infrastructure project. It just is not realistic.

“We still have no further clarity from the Minister for EU negotiations, who has the power and influence to resolve this, neither from other government Ministers.

“I will continue to push the government to put its money where its mouth is and back our city’s port as promised.”

Mr Morgan has been working closely with the city port to support its funding needs, writing to Ministers in December demanding further funding for the port to prepare for post-Brexit trade.

 

 

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Portsmouth MP calls government out on ‘withheld funds’ for city port

Stephen Morgan MP called for the government to provide answers in the House of Commons today on why Portsmouth International Port was not afforded the funding it needs to complete post-Brexit preparations.

Portsmouth International Port applied for £32m of funding in October from the government’s Port Infrastructure Fund, to prepare for new customs arrangements that are set to come in this July, allowing it to adapt to the government’s own new Border Operating Model.

However, the city port was only handed £17.1m of what it asked for – leaving a very large of shortfall of almost £15m.

Meanwhile, the government has also so far ignored the port’s further request for funding for the new Border Control Points, and without it, they will have no facility to use to check the 30,000 breeding animals that are expected to come through each year.

Portsmouth’s local authority owned port contributes around £135m to Portsmouth’s local economy, over 1420 local jobs as well as close to £390m to the national economy each year.

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said:

“Our port contributes around £390m to the national economy each year, so it is frankly absurd that government continues to slow the port’s progress to adapt to its own new Border Operating Model.

“Government cannot continue to chronically underfund our local council, but meanwhile expect it to cough up the cash for this huge infrastructure project. It just is not realistic.

“The Minister for EU negotiations has the power and influence to resolve this, so I expect to hear how they plan to fix this problem very shortly, with no answers forthcoming from the Transport Minister today.”

Mr Morgan has been working closely with the city port to support its funding needs, writing to Ministers in December demanding further funding for the port to prepare for post-Brexit trade.

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Labour urges Government to use spare COVID testing capacity to avoid ports chaos

As delays mount at the UK border and COVID cases rise, Labour is calling on the Government to implement testing at ports in order to protect manufacturers, supermarkets and the NHS, by using spare capacity in the £22 billion COVID testing system.

Setting out a plan for the coming weeks, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Rachel Reeves says that border chaos shows that the Government must now “end the dither and delay and take decisive action” in order to “ save lives and secure the economy.”

The official opposition is urging Ministers to follow to reduce infection rates and stop the chaos at our borders by:

  • urgently directing sufficient mobile testing centres and spare testing capacity to ports in order to secure the economy and protect the NHS
  • finding international solutions to get borders open for freight
  • giving councils and local public health teams a key leadership role in contact tracing and data, and start using “retrospective” contract tracing to contain the spread of infection and avoid more areas falling into Tier Four
  • ensuring that people can afford to self-isolate by providing adequate financial support
  • publishing widespread advice on ventilation in homes, workplaces and public buildings.

Labour is also calling on Government to bring back daily press conferences, in order to level with the public and create as much transparency and confidence as possible.

Following a visit to Portsmouth International Port yesterday, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“According to the Government, current unused testing capacity is around 300,000 tests per day. Over December on average, it only used 50 per cent of its entire testing capacity. 

“With around 6,000 freight drivers passing through the border per day, the UK’s capacity is more than enough to have daily tests at ports.

“Labour plans are practical ideas which the Government should adopt to end the risk of further chaos at our borders”.

Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said:

“The Government itself has admitted it has lost control of the virus. The Prime Minister must end the dither and delay, and take decisive action to save lives and secure the economy.

“The Government should follow Labour’s plan and get to grips with the situation. Failure to do so will put our NHS under even greater pressure, and increase strain on already stretched families and businesses.

“The Prime Minister must also finally conclude his long-promised trade deal with the EU so the Government can turn its full attention to the developing COVID crisis. This is an emergency: there must be honesty from this government and no more distractions or ducking tough decisions.”

 

 

 

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City MP says Government must set out a credible plan to reassure the country that essential supplies will be safeguarded

Responding to the closure of borders affecting freight leaving the UK, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“After a weekend of Government chaos, news that routes from across Europe are being closed is deeply worrying.

This morning I visited Portsmouth International Port to understand the potential impact in our own city, and this afternoon attended a briefing by the Department for Transport. Unaccompanied freight remains unaffected leaving our city’s port, whilst passenger sailings have been halted.

My priority is making sure any disruption and traffic congestion is avoided in Portsmouth and Government sets out a credible plan to reassure the country that essential supplies will be safeguarded. More than ever it is vital during this pandemic that Ministers ensure supplies to our NHS, supermarkets and manufacturers with crucial supply chains secure.

I will continue to liaise with the Port on this important matter to mitigate serious consequences for Portsmouth”.

 

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“The nation needs Portsmouth to build new port infrastructure” says Portsmouth MP

Today (Monday 21 December) Stephen Morgan MP paid a visit to Portsmouth International Port as part of continued efforts to secure Government funding for vital post-Brexit trade infrastructure improvements.

With just 10 days left until the end of the transition period, Portsmouth has been left high and dry by Ministers leaving the port £8m short on funding to build new facilities by next July to meet the Government’s own ‘Border Operating Model.

Following countless correspondence with the Cabinet Office, putting pressure on Government via parliamentary questions, and meetings with officials, the city MP has today shared his frustration as Britain heads towards a no deal Brexit.

Meeting with Port Director Mike Sellers on site this morning for a further briefing and tour of the site, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Whilst we are seeing more delay, dither and excuses from Government over the negotiations with the EU, getting a deal and ending the threat of a no-deal Brexit and its risk our city’s economy and businesses means the Prime Minister must now show leadership.

We were promised an ‘oven-ready deal’ and Government must now get it finished for the sake of the country. Ministers must also end the uncertainty we are seeing here in Portsmouth.

We all know in Portsmouth that our port’s success is our city’s success, and it is in the national interest for Portsmouth to build this vital infrastructure. Our country needs new facilities at our port if we are to continue trading effectively in a post-Brexit Britain.

With just 10 days to go, Government must stop the shortfall and give the port the £8m it needs to deliver on this important project to protect Portsmouth’s economy”.

Questions have been raised in the House of Commons by the Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Rachel Reeves MP after it came to light that  a number of the nation’s ports have been short-changed on government funding needed to build vital infrastructure.

The Portsmouth South representative has vowed to continue working alongside the Port and city council until the Government finally listens to the city’s demands.

 

 

 

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Stephen Morgan MP: government funding for post-Brexit port infrastructure “falls far short”

Responding to the £8m shortfall in funding awarded to Portsmouth International Port through the Government’s Port Infrastructure Fund, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“This funding falls far short of what the port say they’ll need to complete work to manage the once in a generation changes to trading following the end of the transition period.

“This government’s incompetence is setting Portsmouth up to fail. The funding awarded is not enough to cover the major infrastructure work mandated by the government’s own Border Operating Model, and without additional contingency funding it cannot be completed in time. 

“Portsmouth is the UK’s second busiest port and its success is our city’s success. Not only does the port facilitate vital trading routes critical for our economy, but it also helps fund our local public services.

“With a post-Brexit deal in the balance, I urge Government to close this gap in funding and ensure lengthy lorry queues don’t become a reality in Portsmouth”.

The latest intervention from the Portsmouth South MP follows a string of actions taken to ensure minimal disruption at the port.

Last week, Stephen Morgan MP wrote again to Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove to ensure the Port’s plans to avoid disruption receive the required funding.

 

 

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Minister probed in Parliament over securing Gosport Ferry’s future by Stephen Morgan MP

In his latest action to support the continuation of Gosport Ferry post Covid-19, the Portsmouth South MP has raised the ferry services continuation with Ministers’ today at Transport Questions.

Mr Morgan has already liaised with Gosport Ferry’s top team, taken part in meetings with the city council along with other stakeholders, written to the Transport Secretary directly and submitted written parliamentary questions to keep pressure on Government to act.

Today, the city MP followed up on this action by asking Transport Ministers to flesh out the support they could offer to the vital ferry service.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“I know how important the Gosport Ferry is for my constituents and commuters along the south coast which is why I have been working with others to secure its future.

It’s a lifeline service for many who rely on it for work, business and leisure. The coronavirus crisis has shone a spotlight on how crucial the crossing service is for the people of Gosport, and Portsmouth”.

Local stakeholders have submitted proposals to the Government to help secure the ferry’s future following discussions with the Secretary of State for Transport last week.

Mr Morgan added:

Government has already given positive signals and has engaged on the issue so far. However, we cannot afford to lose steam.

Portsmouth jobs, businesses and livelihoods are what is at risk. I will continue to take action on behalf of residents to ensure a suitable solution is reached to secure the ferry’s future.”