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Irish traders in for Brexit shock warns FTAI

[ October 15, 2020   //   ]

Failure to negotiate a trade agreement between the EU and UK “will deliver a deep, sharp shock to the movement of goods between Britain and Ireland”, warned FTAI Ireland (FTAI) general manager, Aidan Flynn.

Commenting on the Irish Government’s 2021 budget on 14 October, he said that such a scenario would create log jams in customs systems and delays at borders as the infrastructure, enforcement regime and the private sector will not be fully prepared. 

He added: “The machinations of the political process have ensured that there will be no time for business to adjust to the new trading environment effectively.”

The budget could have gone further in supporting companies in the freight distribution and logistics sector to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period, he added, saying: “ This budget has neglected to increase spending on training support to help the haulage sector prepare for the new trading reality post-EU Exit, nor does it do anything to encourage more connectivity between Ireland and continental Europe to offset the risk to the landbridge. Within the budget, there are plans to recruit another 500 workers to aid the compliance regime necessary to deal with the post-Brexit trading environment; this does not go far enough given the immense challenges that lie ahead.”

FTAI did however welcome the €12m of funding allocated to carbon reduction measures, including support for a new vehicle purchase grant to help freight and commercial bus operators to buy electric, gas or hydrogen fuelled vehicles.

He also called on the government to protect the aviation industry. The reduced number of air passengers is creating a difficult situation for importers and exporters as 75% of air freight is moved in the bellyhold of passenger flights.

(The next printed issue of Freight Business Journal (FBJ 7 2020) will include a 16-page Ireland supplement.)

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