The extent to which any new or additional regulations will apply to Irish exporters and the freight industry depends on the outcome of Brexit. All Government Departments and agencies, including my Department, are continuing their contingency planning for Brexit and this includes preparing for a no-deal UK exit from the EU, as well as an orderly withdrawal of the UK.
In the area of road transport, as part of the EU’s no-deal preparations, the European Commission adopted Regulation (EU) 2019/501, a contingency measure that will allows access to the EU Member States for UK road transport and passenger operators, on the basis of reciprocal access for EU operators transporting to and from the UK. This Regulation was initially to apply up to the end of December of this year, and has now been extended until the end of July 2020 given the extra time provided to the UK by the extension. While our hauliers will be able to travel to, from and through the UK in a no-deal scenario up to end July, this regulation will change how the current EU cabotage rules apply in respect of the UK during its period of application.
A no-deal Brexit would of course impact on the haulage and freight sector in many other areas outside of transport. The impact of tariffs, and of the customs and SPS requirements and associated checks East West would be significant and would involve additional costs for and potential disruption to businesses. No deal preparedness work therefore continues and Government and businesses must continue to prepare. I can assure you that I and other Government Ministers continue to engage with our EU counterparts, our colleagues across Government and the European Commission as part of our preparations for Brexit.