Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD today proposed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs that significant funding from the Brexit adjustment fund should be allocated to support the freight, distribution and logistics sectors here given the impact Brexit has had on these industries.
Speaking this afternoon, the Meath East TD said:
“I have met with a number of freight companies in recent weeks to seek their feedback on the reality of Brexit on the ground for hauliers here.
“They have outlined the breath of challenges they now face on a daily basis as a consequence of Brexit.
“While some of these changes will unfortunately be permanent as a result of the new trading arrangements with Britain, we believe the government here can do more to help hauliers adapt to the new challenges.
“This afternoon in the Dáil, I asked Minister Simon Coveney to ensure a significant allocation from the Brexit adjustment fund is secured to support the freight, distribution and logistics sectors here, given the impact Brexit has had on them, and also to ensure investment is made in our port infrastructure on an all-island basis.
“I also highlighted the need for the state to step in, via PSO routes if necessary, to ensure we have enough direct shipping capacity to the continent.
“Hauliers have said the current services are not adequate, with existing ferries overbooked, resulting in further delays in the supply chain.
“A six-month adjustment period, as is happening in Britain, should be introduced to assist companies that are dealing with a huge change in operations.
“Businesses are already facing massive challenges due to Covid-19. We need some flexibility and common sense in this area.
“Furthermore, the issues with the Revenue IT systems need to be addressed as a matter of priority as this is causing further headaches for freight companies and lorry drivers.
“It is essential that these bugs in the system are fixed now before increased levels of trade resume in the coming weeks and months.”