FTA joins Brexit Irish border debate

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has weighed into the Irish border / Brexit debate, saying that its members need a solution that protects “frictionless trading arrangements post-Brexit”.

Last week the FTA’s Northern Ireland policy manager Seamus Leheny met with the UK Secretary of State for Brexit David Davis, Greg Clark (Business minister) and Karen Bradley, the Northern Ireland Secretary of State at Stormont last weekend where Leheny told them that the FTA’s members “need trade to continue to flow freely across the border, without delays”.

“Logistics operators are clear that the Irish border must remain frictionless after Brexit, to ensure that trading relationships are protected and business can continue to flourish,” said Leheny. “This weekend’s meeting gave us the chance to share the concerns of the freight and logistics sector with ministers, who were open to possible solutions which would protect the integrity of Ireland’s businesses, as well as its borders.”

Leheny added: “The conversations we had this weekend were a welcome opportunity to raise the concerns of the logistics industry directly with those at the negotiating table in Brussels, particularly the need to avoid infrastructure at the border, and the fact that technology at the border on vehicles will not be a workable solution.  Clarity over the rules of origin for goods is vital, and despite the fact that compliance for the north-south trading route will be difficult to administer, I am confident that our message – that Ireland needs to remain open for business, with no delays at its borders – will be carried into the next round of talks with the EU.”