Ireland fears trade impact from Brexit

Fears of a hard Brexit exit by the UK are worrying trade officials in Ireland. ( Photo: Shutterstock )

Wales’ First Minister Carwyn Jones was in Dublin, Ireland., last week due to “serious concerns” brought about by the possibility of a hard Brexit exit, BBC reports. Jones noted that “nobody wants it” and has braced himself for the politicians failing to avoid such a possibility.

The current single market EU model permits the “free movement of goods, services, capital and people from one EU member country to another,” according to The Sun. This results in taxes and tariffs being eliminated on trade conducted within the single market.

If UK Prime Minister Theresa May pushes through with a hard Brexit exit, it would prove to be costly for businesses, many fear. Being in the customs union helped enterprises lessen expenses bound by administrative barriers. This is one of the consequences that both parties from the UK and the Republic of Ireland are trying to weather in the recent talks between their respective Prime Ministers. 

Exports from the UK reach Ireland through ports in Wales – namely Holyhead, Fishguard and Pembroke Dock, resulting in some 11,000 jobs in Wales. As the UK government continues toward its departure from the EU single market and customs union by March 2019, Jones’ is expecting the worst. “I don’t want to see a hard border on the island of Ireland but neither do I want to see customs posts at Welsh ports.”

Without uttering the term “soft Brexit,” Jones simply mentioned the need for Welsh ports to stay productive. “As we have been clear, leaving the EU must not affect the arrangements for the Common Travel Area.” He was referring to the open borders area found between the UK and the Republic of Ireland including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

“We should have a sensible Brexit that works for Wales, why would we want to build barriers between ourselves and the rest of the world – and 70% of freight from Ireland to the UK comes through Welsh ports,” Jones added.

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