Declan Breathnach TD
Louth (and East Meath)

30th January 2019

Impact of hard border and customs checks will affect Louth Haulage companies – Breathnach

– local firms I spoke to fear chaos and loss of profits –

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach has said that a hard border and introduction of customs checks will impact local haulage companies very negatively.

“There are many haulage firms based in Louth, and they have a lot to fear in the event of a no-deal Brexit with a consequent hard border.”

“I spoke to some of them this week, and concerns raised in every conversation, related to the inevitable need for customs checks.  Maximum facilitation of “Max Fac” will not cut out the need for physical examination of goods.  Human checks on goods cannot be avoided and anybody claiming otherwise is deluded.

“Another haulage contractor in Louth I spoke to outlined the fear that such customs stops could add on 2 hours or more to each journey, each way.  He said that could change the day’s journey from a profitable day’s work to a non-profitable one.

“They all fear the unknown at present.  Nobody knows what a hard border will actually entail at present.  Fears expressed outlined the need for more administration, pre-registration for customs checks, and the unknown requirements placed on them from various Government Departments, who will have specific requirements in relation to transport of goods.

“Contractors I spoke to also outlined the need for permits to cross the border, and that the amount of permits which are estimated to be issued to the sector as a whole is only a fraction of the amount which will actually be required, and fears were expressed regarding the system for getting these permits.

“I have been asking by way of Parliamentary Questions how prepared our Government is for the realities of a hard border”.

“It is estimated that some 13,000 heavy goods vehicles cross the border in both directions each day.  Ireland relies heavily on our export business with the UK and Northern Ireland and continued growth of this market, especially our agri and dairy sector is vital.

“We need to listen to the fears expressed by those on the ground involved in the transport industry who are left in the dark as to what the future holds”.
-Ends-

Johanna Walsh, Office of Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2 (Declan – 087 2697638)

(T) 01 6183549 (Email)  declan.breathnach@oireachtas.ie