The government must support the establishment of new ferry services to offset the risk which a No Deal Brexit presents to the route between Ireland and mainland Europe across the UK, according to FTA Ireland (FTAI).
Responding to the launch of Irish Maritime Development Office’s (IMDO) document, Report to the Department of Transport: A re-assessment of Ireland’s maritime connectivity in the context of Brexit and COVID-19 challenges, Aidan Flynn, General Manager of FTAI, comments: “A No Deal Brexit could lead to serious disruption on the UK’s so called land bridge – the route across the UK mainland to Dover/Calais and on to Europe – and delays of just 12 hours would compromise Ireland’s maritime connectivity to continental Europe severely. To establish robust and sustainable alternatives to the route, the government must help to install multiple new, fast, daily ferry services to Northern France; this would also serve to open Ireland up to new trading opportunities post-Brexit transition period.
“While IMDO’s suggestion of expanding the current routes to Cherbourg and Roscoff are welcome, with a sailing time of 18 hours, these services do not offer a viable alternative to the land bridge, which allows vehicles to access the European mainland in a fraction of this time. We must ensure that Irish hauliers, once landing in France, have not exceeded their drivers’ hours and are able to complete their journeys to the heart of the EU market in a timely fashion.”
Mr Flynn continues: “Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands are critical markets for Ireland both in terms of imports and exports. Also opening new routes closer to these markets will serve to protect the international haulage sector in Ireland.”
FTA Ireland is a not-for-profit membership trade association for the Irish freight, passenger and logistics industries. We are wholly owned and governed by our members, and act solely in advancing their best interests. FTA Ireland covers all aspects of private and public freight transport, passenger transport and logistics supply chain, including road, rail, sea and air. FTAI represents some of the largest freight and passenger operators in Ireland, with more than 25,000 employees and 10,000 vehicles operating between them.
For more information please visit: https://www.ftai.ie/