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THERE was the usual excellent turnout for the London Shipping Law Centre's Cadwallader debate to discuss whether the shipping industry and the regulators were oil and water.

With a keynote speech from Jan Kopernicki, president of the UK Chamber of Shipping (among other jobs), on the platform was former Spinnaker chairman Michael Grey – not known for his fondness for Brussels, International Chamber of Shipping president Spyros Polemis, the Commission's maritime transport director Fotis Karamitsos and Lee Scott MP who stepped in for the UK Minister for Transport.

Many were expecting a lot of blood on the carpet, but the speakers generally put their points with conviction rather than barbs.

In response to a comment from Michael that EU member states were being whipped into line like naughty schoolchildren ahead of IMO meetings, Karamitsos reassured him that "in Brussels, we don't use whips".

Well that's a relief.

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