On Thursday, the Oireachtas published a report on the impact of Brexit and makes 53 recommendations in a range of areas about how Ireland can be best placed to address the ongoing repercussions of the decision of the UK to leave the European Union.
Senator Malcolm Byrne was one of the twelve members of the Committee, the only one from Wexford, and they spent the last eight months in detailed discussions with a range of stakeholders.
According to Senator Byrne,
“We engaged with Rosslare Europort and haulage companies and the effects on our freight traffic. But we also considered the impact of Brexit on so many other aspects of our lives – education and training and recognition of qualifications; managing data held in different jurisdictions; the impact on importing and exporting of food and drink, and, of course, the ongoing political ramifications.”
“One big issue that I highlighted before has been the impact of Brexit on the price of certain goods, including flour, which is very significant for Co. Wexford, not just because of the bakeries located here but also planned development of a mill in the County.”
“Brexit continues to have profound implications for Wexford. I am very proud that I was able to ensure a very specific recommendation about Rosslare Europort as well as on digitising paperwork to speed up movement at the ports as well as looking for greater support for businesses negativey impacted by the Rules of Origin (including Flour).”
“This report is obviously at a very sensitive time in EU/UK relations and particularly as there are serious concerns about the political situation in the North. It will be used to shape government policy in our continuing work in this area.”
The Wexford related recommendations that may be of interest –
Specific Recommendation on Page 43 –
“The Committee recommends the expansion of Rosslare Europort and the new direct routes from continental Europe and is of the view that, following the recent demand-led transformation of the port, the port continues to be developed and that further resources be allocated to facilitate further necessary routes/sailings. Further development of the port will alleviate pressure on Dublin Port and congestion on surrounding motorways such as the M50. To facilitate this expansion, the Committee recommends that the motorway and link road to Rosslare be completed without delay to improve connectivity with Rosslare port.”
Specifically on speeding up times at Ports and the need to move to a digitisation of paperwork –
“The Committee acknowledges the increase in customs documentation as a result of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. In light of this, the Committee recommends a review of the paperwork required for customs and ports to ensure duplication is avoided. In addition, the Committee recommends an immediate move towards the digitisation of paperwork be implemented to include automation where possible to ensure speed and efficiency is maintained at ports.”
Rules of Origin Recommendations 16 and 17
“In recognising the unanticipated impacts of the rules of origin, the Committee recommends that an examination be conducted of the potential supports available to mitigate the impacts on those sectors and businesses most affected. An examination of the planned supports from the Brexit adjustment fund could help to inform this process.
In light of the issues arising in some sectors as a result of the rules of origin, the Committee is of the view that an examination of the feasibility of Ireland’s manufacturing and processing capabilities be conducted as a potential solution to such issues. Incentives, such as grants, for the manufacturing of produce in Ireland should be examined.”
Here is the link to the final report.