Extend Brexit transition period to protect trade


As the Brexit saga continues, the Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) would welcome an extended transition period and proposes it lasts at least one year, to allow the logistics sector to become more comprehensively prepared for the future trading environment.

“There’s growing concern that the inability of Brexit negotiators to reach an agreement will result in a No Deal Brexit – the worst-case scenario. And this uncertainty is leaving the freight distribution and logistics sector in limbo,” commented Aidan Flynn, FTAI General Manager.

“At this stage, we should be discussing the length of the Brexit transition period in terms of years, not months. Most importantly, once we hit the start of the transition period – 30th March 2019 – we should know what we are transitioning into. As this is now looking unlikely, the transition period may turn into the new timeframe for the agreement of a future trade deal. It will also serve to encourage a speedier agreement on the future trading relationship, which will be beneficial for Northern Ireland and all island trade,” he continued.

“With the recently announced 4.7% growth in trade into and out of Dublin Port, the implications of Brexit on future trade flows between Ireland and the UK must not be underestimated, particularly the implications on the just-in-time supply chain. While FTA Ireland welcomes initial preparation made by Dublin Port, most notably the investment in primary border control infrastructure, it is vital that everything is done to ensure we have facilities that will enable ease of movement into and out of the UK. Dublin Port – like most ports – has spatial issues, and adding additional infrastructure removes space that would otherwise be used for vehicles and this must be kept in mind. FTA Ireland would like to see a more joined up, strategic plan by Irish Ports. This includes Waterford and Rosslare –  these ports should explore sharing capacity to reduce the risk of delays and an over reliance on Dublin. After all, over 90% of all Roll on Roll off traffic between Ireland and the UK is from Dublin Port.”

“To become an attractive and viable port, Rosslare needs to introduce border inspection posts and improved facilities as a matter of urgency. In FTA Ireland’s submission to the European Commission’s consultation on amending Regulation 1316/2013, sea trade corridors have called on funding to be made available for Rosslare Port, and FTA hopes to see this come to fruition,” concluded Aidan.