Today, UK P&I Club, a British ship insurer, announced that the company has received the approval of the Dutch regulator for a new subsidiary that will be based in Rotterdam to ensure the continued access to trade in the European Union in case the United Kingdom loses single market access.
UK Club is considered as the second specialist Protection and Indemnity (P&I) club to announce regulatory approval for Brexit trading arrangements in the European Union. Last January, North, its rival club, said it received the go signal for its Dublin subsidiary from the central bank of Ireland.
P&I clubs are mutually owned by their members which are shipping firms. They have been considered as an integral part of the City of London for almost two centuries, insuring ocean-going ships against injury claims and pollution, usually the biggest costs when a vessel sinks.
The chief executive of the new subsidiary, Hugo Wynn-Williams, stated: “With the expected loss of passporting rights, we have put these plans in place to ensure our members can continue to conduct their business with little or no disruption.”
Six of the 13 major global P&I clubs are regulated in the United Kingdom and are estimated to account for more than half the total market share of an industry that insures approximately 90 percent of the ocean-going tonnage of the world.
The United Kingdom dominates the global marine insurance market and losing access to P&I clubs could undermine its multi-billion pound shipping services sector.
Almost three years after the EU membership referendum in 2016, and four days before the United Kingdom was originally scheduled to leave the bloc officialy, it remains unclear how, when or even if Brexit will actually take place, with the parliament and the nation still bitterly divided.