Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (564)

Pearse Doherty


564. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if an application to the European Union for the revision of the TEN-T core network including the reinstatement of the cross-Border western arc has been submitted as per the commitment outlined in A Programme for a Partnership Government; the status of the application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8143/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The TEN-T Regulations (EU) No 1315/2013 stipulate that a review of the TEN-T network will take place no later than by the end of 2023. My Department will be making a formal submission within the next 2 months to the European Commission calling for an early review of the TEN-T Network, taking into account our National Development Plan, our National Planning Framework, and the implications of Brexit.

As the Deputy will be aware, there are nine multi-modal TEN-T Core Network Corridors. Of these nine Corridors, the “North Sea Mediterranean Corridor" (NSMED) is the only corridor that includes the UK and Ireland. This Corridor map outlines a link from Ireland to the UK, through the UK land bridge, and on to continental Europe.

The European Commission has proposed an Amendment to Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which would realign the North Sea - Mediterranean (NSMED) Core Network Corridor, given that the UK will no longer form part of the Corridor or the TEN-T network. This proposal seeks to ensure that the NSMED Corridor does not become fragmented as a result of Brexit, and will take effect only in the event of a no-deal Brexit, in which case the CEF Regulation would no longer apply to the UK.

In recent weeks, this proposal has been discussed in Brussels at Working Party level. In these discussions, Ireland has supported the inclusion of text within the proposal calling for an early review of the TEN-T Network to take place, with particular regard for the possible changes in traffic flows in a no-deal Brexit scenario. Other Member States, including France, have expressed support for such a review.