Welsh ports are considered to be vital for the success of British trading in the future. With Brexit looming, the Freight Transport Association has said that the continued and future success of British trading relationships after the UK leave the EU, could rely on the Welsh ports.
This suggestion has been made as the National Assembly for Wales has published the results of their inquiry into the implication of Brexit on the ports in Wales. The Freight Transport Association has responded to the results by saying that the Welsh Assembly need to keep pressure on the national government in order to make sure that the trading relationships and customs arrangements at Welsh ports are a central focus of the Brexit negotiations going forward.
The Head of Policy for Wales at the FTA, Ian Gallagher gave evidence for the inquiry earlier this year. The Head of Policy has said that it looked promising that the committee noted the concerns that had been brought p by the FTA in regards to the maintenance of the so-called frictionless trading arrangements that are currently established between the mainland and both Northern and the Republic of Ireland. It has also been highlighted by Ian Gallagher that they Welsh administration must take more urgent action in order to make sure that businesses are not penalised unfairly because of a lack of proper planning and to make sure that trade continues to flow through Wales while going to and from mainland UK, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The findings that have been published by the committee are a great place to start, but they must be built on in order to ensure trade is impacted as little as possible by Brexit and the negotiations around the separation. It has been estimated that around 55 million tonnes of trade moved through Welsh ports in 2015, and if trade continues to remain at this level, any disruptions or delays that are caused by lack of or insufficient customs provisions could have a dramatic impact on businesses on either side of the Irish sea that are dependant on the transport link.