Brexit: Implications for Transport Infrastructure Investment

Irish Academy publishes new report entitled "Brexit: Implications for Transport Infrastructure Investment". The report was prepared by an Academy taskforce and is one of a series that has and will continue to focus on important topics with a significant engineering dimension The Academy generally seeks to engage with issues of longer term import but on occasion will also address more pressing subjects with a view to helping to identify appropriate solutions. No issue is more immediate and pressing from the current Irish standpoint than that of Brexit. The ongoing uncertainties generated by the process of UK withdrawal from the EU as well as the dependence of a high proportion of Irish trade on either the British market or access to third countries via Great Britain pose significant risks requiring attention. This report on the implications for transport infrastructure investment is both timely and, it is intended as, a contribution by the Academy to the overall Brexit discussion. The report contains a wealth of factual information and highlights:
  • A very high proportion of Ireland’s goods trade, particularly our exports, are carried in trailers on Roll On Roll Off (Ro-Ro) ferries or in containers on Load On Load Off (Lo-Lo) vessels, which together are described as unified freight
  • Almost 85% of that trade is now channelled through Dublin port
  • A very high proportion of that trade is either with the UK or passes through the UK
  • Two thirds of our trade with Continental Europe is estimated to passes through the UK, much of it through Dover Port the busiest Ro-Ro port in Europe
  • The Ro-Ro terminal at Dover is very small, in relation to the volume of goods handled and there is a very high risk of major delays at Dover, post Brexit
  • Brexit poses an existential risk to our existing trade patterns
  • The Academy has identified potential solutions, for discussion as part of the Brexit debate.