17 May 2019, 15.56
In its interim report on port security and infrastructure, BIPA Committee B on European Affairs noted that the level of ‘no deal’ planning being undertaken at Dublin Port may prove unnecessary if a deal between the UK and the EU is agreed.
The Committee, chaired by Darren Millar AM of the Welsh Assembly, visited the ports of Dublin and Holyhead as part of its inquiry into European Security Cooperation after Brexit. The Committee’s interim report on port security and infrastructure welcomes the level of planning for all eventualities at the two ports, but highlights that the high level of ‘no deal’ planning and investment at Dublin may prove to be unnecessary if an orderly Brexit deal is agreed.
Commenting on the report, Chair of the Committee Darren Millar AM said:
“Seamless movement between the ports of Dublin and Holyhead is crucial if trade and travel between the UK and EU to are to continue operating effectively after Brexit. We found that contingency measures are being put in place in all the ports we visited, but Dublin in particular is making substantial no-deal preparations. This is somewhat inevitable because of the UK and EU’s differing negotiating positions but it may prove unnecessary if the UK leaves the EU in an orderly fashion. We will continue to take evidence on this subject, and make key recommendations to the UK and Irish governments in our final report.”
The report was adopted by the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly at the 58th Plenary in Wicklow on 14 May 2019. The main findings and recommendations are:
- Dublin Port appears well prepared for all possible Brexit eventualities;
- The Committee notes that preparations made at Dublin Port may subsequently prove unnecessary, if the UK’s future relationship with the EU allows for the free flow of goods between the UK and Ireland without additional checks;
- UK-Irish ferry companies, hauliers and other operators are experiencing uncertainty due to the Brexit process, and they need to be well-supported to continue operating effectively and profitably on this vital route between the UK and Ireland;
- The Committee is concerned about the lack of passenger name records (PNR) data on ferries, which might be helpful to the UK and Irish law enforcement agencies. It will take further evidence on the value of compulsory PNR data in Autumn 2019, and make recommendations on this and broader issues in its final report.
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