I propose to take Questions Nos. 437 and 440 together.
The Government’s current assessment is that there is a significant risk of a no-deal Brexit, which will have profound implications for Ireland. The Government has been preparing for Brexit for over three years to make sure that Irish citizens and businesses are as ready as possible for all scenarios. No-deal preparations have always had the highest priority and there has been intensive engagement with stakeholders across all sectors.
The Port of Cork is currently undertaking major development works including the construction of a new container terminal at Ringaskiddy. This work will a provide for future increases in trade and national port capacity requirements by facilitating larger sized vessels and increased tonnage and throughput.
The establishment of the additional controls at ports that would be required in a no deal Brexit scenario is being co-ordinated by an interdepartmental group under the chairmanship of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, with representation from a range of stakeholders across Government. The group has focused on two locations for which we are heavily dependent on connectivity to the UK, namely, Dublin Port, and Rosslare Europort. The Office of Public Works has been tasked with delivering the required facilities for these agriculture, health and customs checks at these locations. I understand that Port of Cork is also engaging with these State Agencies.
My Department has also sought to assess the existing maritime capacity for direct sailings between Ireland and continental EU ports as a potential alternative route for trade currently using the Landbridge and has established that there is capacity in ports other than Dublin and Rosslare that could be of some assistance in the event of a no deal Brexit. The main spare capacity available in 2019 is in relation to Lift-on/ Lift -off (LOLO) traffic, in Cork, among others, and for bulk, rather than in respect of Roll-on/ Roll-off (RORO) traffic. Should there be a modal shift from RORO to LOLO, the port of Cork has spare capacity to cater for additional LOLO.