New ‘Brexit Planning Team’ in talks with Foyle Port

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Ports Minister Chris Hazzard says a new departmental ‘Brexit Planning Team’ has been actively engaging with the authorities at Lisahally since the end of the summer.

The Minister said talks will continue as London proceeds with the process of withdrawing from the European Union.

“In August of this year I took the decision to establish a dedicated Brexit Planning Team within my department,” Mr Hazzard revealed.

“Since its formation, the team has actively engaged with numerous key stakeholders, including the Belfast Harbour Commissioners and the British Ports Association, of which Belfast, Foyle, Warrenpoint and Larne Ports are members.

“Ongoing engagement with all of our ports, both individually and collectively, will continue as the EU withdrawal process moves forward,” added the Minister.

Bosses at Foyle Port have warned of the potentially negative impact a United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union could have on trade in Derry, which has been good over recent years. Last year the port posted record turnover levels of £7 million.

But in a statement accompanying its 2016 public accounts, Chair Bonnie Anlee, said: “The vote for Britain to leave the European Union has created a number of uncertainties, which may be detrimental to the future growth of the Port.”

She said it was the Port’s priority to avoid hard borders and import tariffs.