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Wales could be the loser under Brexit, says report

[ January 20, 2020   //   ]

Freight between Ireland the ports in Wales could be badly hit by Brexit, says a new UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) published by the Welsh government.

It says that trade barriers between the UK and the EU (notably Ireland) but less extensive border checks between Great Britain and Northern ireland could create an incentive to divert trade from Ireland-GB to Northern Ireland-GB routes.

The impact might be felt particularly for consignments which are destined for Northern Ireland but which are currently sent from Wales via Ireland.

New checks will also require increased border infrastructure in Welsh ports such as Holyhead, Pembroke Dock and Fishguard. Delays will be particularly problematic for perishable food products, which make up a large share of goods shipped between Holyhead and Dublin.

Producers in Great Britain, including Welsh producers, are likely to lose market share in Northern Ireland as goods sent from GB to NI will face new customs checks, possibly customs duties, and other regulatory/administrative checks, while NI trade with the EU (notably with the Republic of Ireland – RoI) will remain frictionless.

But if Great Britain relaxes its regulations relative to EU regulations, NI producers might operate under higher costs than GB firms, as NI producers would still need to produce to EU standards. NI firms may therefore struggle to compete in the GB market.