Irish export industry threatened by Brexit requires urgent action by government to ease extra costs which will arise in getting goods to market.
This was the view of Independent MEP Marian Harkin following a briefing on Brexit she organised in Dublin with representatives of industry and transport and Finnish MEP Nils Torvalds. Nils Torvalds has been nominated to contest the upcoming Finnish presidency and his visit to Ireland included briefings in Belfast and Dublin.
It was emphasised to the visiting MEP that Ireland already has exceptional costs of having to cross two seas to get to mainland European and beyond. “It is astounding for instance, that it can cost up to €900 in tolls to transport goods from the entry port in France to Italy while huge delays, which will occur at ports post Brexit, will create significant problems in meeting cost and delivery demands of customers”, Marian Harkin said.
Referring to a submission by the Irish Road Haulage Association at the meeting the Independent MEP said that current extra costs imposed on Irish road hauliers included unacceptable Irish insurance levels and EU regulations which were onerous for Irish hauliers who have to meet significant hotel costs for drivers associated with rest day obligations.
“On top of all of the extra costs for Irish hauliers to deliver to EU markets currently there will be new problems associated with customs checks and consequent delays at entry ports as a large proportion of Irish goods transit through the UK”, Marian Harkin said.
In view of the greatly increased costs which Brexit would create it was essential that a proposed new €3 per tyre levy for new tyre purchases should not proceed”, she said. The economics of exporting goods post Brexit was going to be difficult enough without further charges such as a tyre levy which would further increase costs and could mean that in future tyres wold be purchased in Northern Ireland to avoid the proposed levy, Marian Harkin MEP concluded.