Truck deal ‘no panacea’ for hard Brexit

A breakthrough UK agreement that will allow Irish trucks carrying goods to the Continent pass freely on British roads is not a “panacea” for all the ills of a hard Brexit.

Truck deal ‘no panacea’ for hard Brexit

A breakthrough UK agreement that will allow Irish trucks carrying goods to the Continent pass freely on British roads is not a “panacea” for all the ills of a hard Brexit.

The assessment comes from the main business group that represents Irish truck owners, Freight Transport Association Ireland after the UK unexpectedly said it would sign up to the Common Transit Convention that currently helps EU and other non-EU trucks pass relatively unhindered. There were fears Irish trucks bound for the Continent through English ports would face long delays using British motorways or “the landbridge” if the UK were to crash out of the EU.

Though welcome news, Freight Transport Association Ireland general manager Aidan Flynn said the convention doesn’t lift all the threats of restrictions.

“This is important for a no-deal scenario, particularly for the landbridge,” Mr Flynn said. “It is not a panacea because there are certain requirements for bonding and restrictions” covering trucks’ final destinations under the convention, he said. Mr Flynn said though the agreement will facilitate the landbridge for Irish goods such as agri-foods which could travel under seal, all truckers will still face increased bureaucracy and costs. The landbridge to continental markets via the UK is used by 140,000 truck journeys a year.

The decision which was announced by the UK Treasury will mean “cashflow and supply-chain benefits for traders”, said Chartered Accountants Ireland. Brian Keegan, its director of public policy and taxation, said there were opportunities for Irish businesses.

“Many Irish businesses will have scope to gain from Brexit given our close proximity to the UK. Some Northern Irish businesses, particularly in the food industry, could see opportunities for sales into Britain,” he said.

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