Extension on Brexit transition period “necessary”, according to FTAI

Published: 24 October 2018

Extension on Brexit transition period “necessary”, according to FTAI
FTA Ireland officials have stated they would be satisfied with an extension on the Brexit transition period which would mean transport firms and other logistics companies would be able to better prepare for the UK’s departure from the EU. In an extended transition period, better deals will have an opportunity to arise which could ultimately benefit trading through the country on a whole.

Speaking on the matter was FTAI General Manager, Aidan Flynn, who stated: “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.

“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 went on to say: “With the recently announced 4.7% growth in trade in to 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 in to 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.

Aidan Flynn ended his statement saying: “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.”

This follows public concern as the PM announces an extended transition period. There has been speculation on the trade deal that could be agreed by the UK and EU by the time the transition period has ended, with no certainty as to what the country will be transitioning to as no further deals have been planned or discussed. 

The recently announced plans to extend the transition period has also lead further politicians into a vote of no confidence in the PM’s leadership. Another general election could be considered before Britain has left the EU.
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