Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) will focus on maintaining free movement of vehicles across Ireland’s border with the UK following the ‘leave’ result of yesterday’s Referendum.
Ireland is the only country that shares a land border with the UK and FTAI is keen to ensure that mutual arrangements continue as they have done for almost 100 years once the UK’s membership of the EU ends.
Neil McDonnell, General Manager of FTAI, said: “It now falls to the Irish Government to ensure that Ireland maintains the free movement, commercial, legal and social arrangements with Northern Ireland and Great Britain that it has enjoyed since 1922.
“The UK is Ireland’s largest mutual trading partner and FTA Ireland will do all it can to support this objective. Nothing will change immediately, despite the current market turmoil, and we will be working hard in the coming months to make the transition as smooth as possible for our members.”
Maintaining cross-border trade is vital following BrExit vote
Meanwhile in the UK. the importance of trade across the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic must not be forgotten in negotiations for the UK’s exit from the EU, according to the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
Following the ‘leave’ vote in yesterday’s referendum, FTA says coming out of the union risks new costs, restrictions and bureaucratic requirements being imposed on moving goods in and out of Europe – and that includes transport operations crossing the UK’s only land border with the Republic of Ireland.
Seamus Leheny, FTA’s Policy & Membership Manager for Northern Ireland, said: “Northern Ireland has enjoyed arrangements with its neighbour for almost 100 years for free movement, commercial, legal and social matters. The UK is Ireland’s largest mutual trading partner and this relationship must be maintained through the Brexit negotiations.”
Prime Minister David Cameron announced his intention to stand down in October after “steadying the ship” in the wake of the ‘leave’ vote. He said it would be up to his successor to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, and negotiate the UK exit from the EU.
Once Article 50 is invoked, there will follow two years of negotiation between the remaining 27 countries and the UK about the totality of relations between the EU and UK.
FTA will be regularly updating its members on progress and pressing the Government to put freight transport at the top of the agenda.
Britain’s Freight Transport Association can trace its origins back to 1889 and is recognised as the voice of the freight and logistics industry, representing the transport interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. FTA members operate over 220,000 goods vehicles – half the UK fleet – consign over 90 per cent of the freight moved by rail and 70 per cent of sea and air freight.