Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment Louise O’Reilly TD has said the government must stand ready to push for resolutions to problematic aspects in the outworking of the EU-Britain trade agreement.
Speaking this afternoon, Teachta O’Reilly said:
“All sides were both exhausted and contented when a trade agreement was finally reached between the European Union and Britain at the end of December.
“In negotiations, however, assumptions in relation to practical outworking of a deal are made by negotiating teams. These assumptions are often theoretical, abstract and academic compared with how the realities of the situation express themselves in practice, on the ground.
“This is most certainly the case with the new trading arrangements between the Ireland/EU and Britain.
“The current situation at ports and airports is an example of this as businesses and exporters battle to familiarise themselves with new trading terms, the outworkings of which are significant disruptions to trading and supply chains that have been built over decades.
“The low level of freight entering and exiting the state at the moment is masking the serious problems which are developing due to the complications of the new trading arrangement.
“In the past number of days, these complications have caused havoc for exportation and importation of goods for Irish businesses. If left unaddressed, these will only escalate.
“These problems are as a result of the complexity of the new trading arrangement, new paperwork and IT systems, and a some unforeseen consequences.
“There are other problems around rules of origin where goods sent from Europe to Ireland, or vice versa, stop off in Britain as part of the delivery process and are unpacked and repacked, resulting in the goods losing their free-tariff status.
“Solutions to some of these trade problems can be found at a national level but some will require flexibility and ingenuity on the part of the European Union. The government must stand ready to push for resolutions at EU level.”