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Solution needed for exporters facing Brexit trade problems – Boylan

3 May, 2017 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has called for further State investment in Irish ports in order to be able to deal with the new dynamic of Ireland-EU trade having to circumvent Britain and go directly to the continent.

MEP Boylan said:

“It is imperative that by the time Britain leaves the EU that we have done all we can to prepare for the new trading dynamic and the economic shocks that will accompany such a tumultuous change.

“There is little doubt that, with Britain’s intentions to leave the single market, the physical transportation of goods will change dramatically for Ireland. The result of such a situation is the introduction of introduce customs controls on the goods at British ports that will involve checking where the goods came from, if they are properly labelled, if they are safe, and if the tariffs due have been paid.

“This development would considerably increase the cost of exporting, dramatically slow down the transport of exported goods, and have an impact on the quality of agri-food products.

“Given that a recent survey by the Irish Exporters Association (IEA) found that two thirds of exporters go through Britain to get their produce to customers on mainland Europe, there is no doubt that increased customs declarations and manual checks at British ports and subsequently and the receiving EU ports would cause huge difficulties and increased expense for Irish exporters.

“There is strong evidence that the current system of exporters using Britain as a land bridge to the continent will not be efficient or economical in the future. Therefore, we must look at using Irish ports to cater for direct exporting to continental ports.

“While Dublin Port secured an EIB loan in 2015 to help with redevelopment to deepen the navigation channel to allow for bigger container ships, given the difficulties and obstacles presented by Brexit for exporters, we need to look at all major ports and invest where necessary in order to ensure that they can deal with the new situation.

“The Government needs to have the foresight to envisage the situation that will develop and guarantee that investment will be forthcoming to ensure that everything necessary is done so that exporters can reach the continent in the face of the new dynamic and that that workers and businesses are not damaged. In doing so, they need to liaise with local communities around the ports, the IEA, trade unions, and local business groups to ensure it is a success.” 

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