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Shipping contributes some 10bn pounds ($14.2bn) annually to the UK economy and directly employs 240,000 people in multiple areas, including maritime services such as ports, transportation, as well as ship broking and marine insurance.
As several shipping segments struggle with worsening market conditions due to global economic uncertainty, a Chinese slowdown and a surplus of ships for hire, alarms are sounding over whether Britain will quit the EU in a June 23 referendum.
Renegotiating trade agreements with individual EU countries as well as the EU itself could take years following Brexit, which would also add to the burden on companies.
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