The Irish Ports Association (IPA), an Ibec affiliate, today called on the European Commission to enhance its proposals to mitigate the adverse impact of Brexit on marine passenger and freight transport between Ireland and Continental Europe.
The Commission is proposing to realign the TEN-T* network’s North Sea Mediterranean Core Network Corridor, which currently links Ireland to France via the UK landbridge. The Commission’s proposal would amend the Corridor to link the ports of Dublin and Cork directly with Core ports in Belgium and the Netherlands. The IPA welcomes this approach but believes that additional measures are also needed because of the adverse impact of Brexit on Ireland’s peripherality.
IPA chairman Des Whelan said: “It is vital for all three of Ireland’s Core ports and at least one French port to be included in these new maritime links. Importantly also, existing routes between Ireland and France are between Comprehensive ports in both countries and it is important that the Commission finds a way to include these strategically important Comprehensive ports in the North Sea Mediterranean Core Network Corridor even if they don’t fit neatly into the TEN-T framework.
“The challenges facing Ireland and Northern France as a result of Brexit are unprecedented and sea Port connections for direct routes between Ireland and France are more important now than ever before. It would be also be beneficial for Ireland to be linked directly to the Atlantic Core Corridor. Ireland is one of three member states that have no road or rail links into the internal market and, instead, have to rely on sea transport. The IPA also calls for the Commission to explore new ways of supporting Ireland’s smaller ports in their efforts to help them to adapt to Brexit”.