Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (258)

Michael Healy-Rae


258. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will address a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2369/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government has been very clear that the UK’s decision to leave the EU would mean an end to seamless trade between the EU and UK. Even with an EU-UK trade deal in place, the UK is no longer a member of the Single Market and Customs Union. This means that businesses must engage with a range of checks and controls on their trade with the UK that did not previously apply.

The Government appreciates that this presents significant challenges for many business and sectors and brings additional challenges to supply chains. We have put in place a range of dedicated supports and are providing ongoing assistance to assist traders in adapting to the new procedures. Where difficulties have arisen for users in specific cases, the Government has been engaging directly with them to get these difficulties resolved. We are working 24/7 to ensure trade can flow to the greatest extent possible but industry also has to do its part to make this work. The best way to ensure that goods pass as smoothly and efficiently as possible through our ports is to correctly complete the required paperwork in advance of moving those goods. In recent days, we have seen that more than 70% of trucks are doing this and are being ‘green-lighted’ to leave our ports directly upon disembarkation.

The Department for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the Revenue Commissioners continue to be available to assist businesses and I would urge traders to make use of the available resources.

The Deputy will also wish to note that the Revenue Commissioners issued updated guidance on the import of vehicles from Great Britain and Northern Ireland in light of the new trading arrangements that are now in place.