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FTA Ireland urges one last push for Brexit talks

[ December 14, 2020   //   ]

FTA Ireland (FTAI) is urging the UK and the EU to reach a trade agreement urgently to protect Ireland’s supply chains, as well as the trading relationship between the two blocks. Despite an extension to the talks – a move welcomed by FTAI – the risk of a no-deal is still substantial, and it is concerned that politicians are neglecting to take account of reality.

General manager, Aidan Flynn, said: “The level of change that will manifest itself on the 1 January 2021 is incomprehensible for the freight distribution and logistics sector in the event of a no-deal. While the Irish logistics industry has been preparing as best it can, there will be significant barriers to trade that will result in delays to deliveries and severe traffic congestion; we want to see an adjustment period in place to allow those on the front line to prepare effectively for the new trading environment.”

Delivery and collection times will have to be reviewed. Ferry timetables will need adjusting to take into account obvious pinch points at Dublin Port when it comes to arrival and departure times to aid the free flow of port traffic; collection and delivery of containers must also be examined to consider likely congestion, he added. Government regulatory bodies must ensure that they have the resources available to facilitate speedy and consistent checks – both documentary and physical – to keep traffic moving and reduce the risk of congestion in the ports.

A readiness trial in which FTAI members took part identified significant gaps in the levels of preparedness ofstate agencies. With the very limited space available for trucks to manoeuvre; this could lead to vehicle damage and endanger safety.

Flynn concludes: “All freight forwarders, consignors and consignees need to understand the plight of the haulier. New relationships will need to be considered to ensure that all parties support each other during the adjustment period to reduce the risk of delays. Conversely, state agencies must continue to engage industry, share information and work to develop improved efficiencies in the inspection regime.”

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