The Irish premier has said that a no-deal Brexit would have a severe impact on the Holyhead/Dublin trade route.
Speaking at the 20th anniversary of the British-Irish Council (BIC) in Manchester, Leo Varadkar said Ireland would have to impose tariffs on goods entering the state from the UK.
“I think in the event of a no-deal Brexit, there would be a very severe impact on trade between Dublin and Holyhead,” he said.
“In the first instance, we would have to impose tariffs on all goods being imported into Ireland from the UK and we would have to put in place the necessary customs checks and controls, and we have the infrastructure in place at Dublin Port and the staff to do that but we really don’t want to do it.”
Likewise, First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said his government would prepare for all eventualities.
“Well, the Holyhead Port is the UK’s third busiest port in the United Kingdom,” he said.
“We prepare for all eventualities, while saying as we have said at this council that a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for the Welsh economy, would make the sustaining of those economic links far more difficult, we will plan against the worst eventualities but we certainly cannot plan in a way that simply wipes away the impact that a no-deal Brexit would have.”
The Irish Central Statistics Office states that Dublin Port accounted for 59.3% of all vessel arrivals in Irish ports and 47.8% of the total of all goods handled in 2018.
The routes between Dublin and three UK ports – Holyhead, Liverpool and Milford Haven – were the busiest routes for inward movement of goods.
The Dublin-Holyhead and Dublin-Liverpool routes were also the busiest routes for goods forwarded.
Dublin-Holyhead continues to be Ireland’s busiest passenger ferry route.