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Maritime Strategy

Volume 653: debated on Thursday 24 January 2019

I am today announcing the publication of “Maritime 2050: Navigating the Future”, the Government’s landmark strategy setting out our vision and ambitions for the future of the British maritime sector.

Our nation depends on the wide range of benefits the maritime sector delivers. It contributes over £14 billion a year to the UK economy and directly supports an estimated 186,000 jobs. Around 95% of British imports and exports are moved by sea. The leisure and marine sectors are vital to our enjoyment of the seas. Our maritime clusters around the UK showcase the diversity of our regional economies, from professional services in London to ship management and educational excellence in Scotland.

We rightly take pride in our maritime past. Maritime 2050 is about looking forward, anticipating the challenges and opportunities ahead and recognising the UK’s strengths so we are well placed to capitalise on them. Maritime 2050 looks at these across seven themes and under each makes short, medium and long-term recommendations: UK competitive advantage; people; environment; technology; infrastructure; trade and security and resilience. It highlights multi-billion pound commercial investment in maritime infrastructure at ports and beyond; our unwavering commitment to safety and security; and our reputation for innovation. We pave the way on regulatory frameworks and technology to facilitate smart shipping and autonomy, and lead the way in clean maritime growth. But no matter how far advances in ships and technology take us, it sets out how the people graduating from our maritime training and academic institutions will reflect the world around us and continue to be sought after across the globe for their skills.

As the global maritime sector adapts to challenges such as climate change, rapid technological advances and security concerns, Maritime 2050 sets a series of strategic ambitions around which Government and the sector will focus their efforts, and core values which we will be guided by.

The partnership between Government and the maritime sector has been vital to the development of this strategy. It began in March 2018 with a call for evidence, seeking to reach all branches of the sector, complemented by workshops around the UK to capture the views from across our maritime clusters, and interviews with leaders in industry and academia. Maritime 2050 has also benefited from the advice and scrutiny of an independent panel of 13 internationally respected academics, industry leaders, maritime business services providers and promotional bodies. As a result, Maritime 2050 reflects the depth and breadth of the UK’s rich maritime sector.

A copy of Maritime 2050 has been placed in the Library of both Houses and is available on, together with the trade and technology route maps setting out in greater detail the steps needed to achieve the UK’s strategic maritime ambitions.