AN IMPENDING exit from Europe by Britain will mean that exporters may face tariffs and border controls when bringing their goods through the UK to Europe, Ireland South MEP and member of the EU Transport committee Deirdre Clune has warned.
MEP Clune pointed out that 40 per cent of our exports are going to mainland Europe, most of which are being driven through the UK and onto the French port of Calais.
Brexit will slow down Irish exports to mainland Europe and add costs to our exporters, she claimed.
“Brexit will make it more complicated to get our goods to mainland Europe. Many of those goods are agri and food products and need to get to market in a relatively short period of time.
“Choosing an alternative route to mainland Europe – like a Ferry between Rosslare and Cherbourg – is not feasible for exporters given the long sea crossing – in particular in winter.
“Irish exporters and hauliers could get transit permits to bring goods across the UK and down to France but there is no guarantee that such a deal could be negotiated within an acceptable time frame, if at all.
“The EU has invested billions into the North Sea Mediterranean transport corridor, a prioritised transport corridor which runs from Cork to Belfast, right across the UK and into France. These corridors were designed to connect Europe and facilitate the easy flow of goods and people across Europe and has led to increased investment in European ports, roads and rail networks. If Britain leaves the UK, then our transport corridor to mainland Europe is cut in two, leaving Ireland cut off geographically on the edge of Europe.
“Some 16 per cent of Irish Exports go to the UK but over 40 per cent of Irish exports go to the remainder of the EU – mostly on Lorries that pass through Calais”, MEP Clune concluded.