The executive director of Stena Line is urging the European Union to take a pragmatic approach to customs checks after the Brexit transition period ends with the introduction of an implementation phase.
In a statement, Ian Hampton, executive director and Brexit spokesperson at Stena Line, warned that systems and infrastructure required for custom checks will not be finalised in time for 1 January 2021.
“Clarity on Northern Ireland is only one part of Brexit and there remains many unanswered questions,” he said. “With many companies in the supply chain still not ready we believe a further ‘implementation phase’ is required by both the UK and the EU.”
The statement continued. “Stena Line understands that the UK Government will undertake a flexible and pragmatic approach to customs requirements after the end of transition period. The Government has chosen to delay, by six months, the imposition of full controls on most imports to Great Britain.
“Stena Line would like to encourage the EU to take the same approach as the UK. It is in the interests of the both the UK and EU to prioritise trade flows over customs and agri-food checks at the border.
“It is vital the UK’s role as a land bridge continues. [This] remains the shortest route for Irish goods to enter the EU market, and vice versa, so it is particularly vital for Ireland that the EU plays their part to keep freight moving through Britain and on to the Continent.”