There is concern for the future of Holyhead Port after an Irish minister revealed pans to bypass the UK altogether when trading with the rest of the EU.
The commercial and ferry port is one of the UK’s busiest and primarily handles shipping back and forth from Dublin.
But Thomas Byrne, Ireland’s Minister of State for European Affairs, said following the news about 7,000-trucks-long queues in Kent that they were looking at strengthening direct links with the EU.
He said that the government was discussing “early engagement” between traders, hauliers and ferry companies to discuss the options.
“Goods moving directly between Ireland and the EU will not be subject to new procedures,” he said.
“Many traders moving across the UK landbridge are already considering and using alternative direct maritime services.”
“New services already launched within the last year and in recent months include Cork to Zeebrugge, Dublin to Santander, Waterford to Rotterdam, Rosslare to Bilbao and Rosslare to Roscoff.
“Extra sailings are already planned between Rosslare and Cherbourg and Cork Roscoff from 2021.”
Yesterday Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said that the UK Government was “working with the Welsh Government in order to invest in a facility near Holyhead in Anglesey in order to ensure that transit and other procedures can facilitate the flow of traffic and trade.”
He was responding to a question from Ceredigion MP Ben Lake who said that he had “serious concerns”.
“The impact of UK Gov’s failures to prepare for the end of the transition period on the Welsh ports of Holyhead and Fishguard have been raised repeatedly by Plaid Cymru, yet we still have no clarity,” he said.
Yesterday it was revealed that truck drivers will need a permit to enter Kent after the Brexit transition period ends.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Gove said the Kent Access Permit system would be enforced by police and ANPR cameras.
It is intended to ensure drivers have all the paperwork they need, he said.