Last week, UK officials tabled a new plan to keep “roll on, roll off” ports on both sides of English Channel flowing as part of any future free-trade agreement with the EU. However, Michel Barnier is said to have snubbed the proposal because it could keep the EU indefinitely tied to an unwanted system.
Express.co.uk reported that British negotiators told their EU counterparts it would be mutually beneficial to broker an agreement to protect traders using the Dover-Calais, Channel Tunnel and Holyhead-Dublin shipping routes. A UK Government spokeswoman said: “The Government knows the importance of roll-on, roll-off ports for UK trade, on routes like Dover-Calais, the Channel Tunnel and Holyhead-Dublin.
Irish Sea border means chaos looms, even with a Brexit deal
Freight haulers have just four more months of carefree border-crossing before Brexit comes into play. Earlier this month, PM Boris Johnson proclaimed he would never accept an Irish Sea trade border,
However, the EU doesn’t seem to want to play ball. Crossing the Irish Sea will require still-unbuilt checkpoints at ports; lorry parks; voluminous customs declarations; veterinary checks; and tariffs to be paid and reclaimed, with 50,000 extra customs officers as yet unrecruited.
For freight companies, this means the Brexiters’ claim to escape “Brussels red tape” has created a maddening amount of it instead; even with a deal, let alone without.