HAULAGE AND FARMING SECTOR FEARS MOUNT AS BREXIT LOOMS

18 December 2020 No Comments by The Northern Standard

NARROW PATH TO TRADE AGREEMENT STILL EXISTS BUT TEMPORARY “NO DEAL” SCENARIO COULD TRANSPIRE SAYS EU

Haulage firms and farming and agri-business representatives in the Border region warned of potentially severe Brexit-related impacts on their sectors this weeks as the attempts by the EU and the UK to broker a post-Brexit trade deal entered their decisive final days. A narrow path to a deal still existed, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said yesterday as pressure mounted on negotiators to finish the parley by the end of the week in order to allow time for any accord to be ratified and avoid trade and transport disruption once the UK’s transition period for leaving the EU concludes on January 1.

The Irish Road Haulage Association said transport firms were facing “catastrophic consequences” due to delays at air and sea ports even if a Brexit trade deal happens. IRHA President Eugene Drennan has appealed for a single entity to be appointed to handle the free movement of goods traffic and oversee Customs and import control measures, stating that drivers faced the prospect of having to go through separate checks by the Revenue, the Department of Agriculture, the HSE and the Gardaí. Mr Drennan called on the Road Safety Authority and Department of Transport to take a more lenient approach to licensed hauliers, to ease some of the pressure they will be under.

“The next four weeks will be a period of unprecedented disruption for the movement of goods,” Mr Drennan stated, adding that the situation had “the capacity to bring the licensed haulage…

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