‘Bridgend controls will cause half-day delays’

Lisahally Port. INLS3215MC001
Lisahally Port. INLS3215MC001

A company that sends 45 lorries through Bridgend to Lisahally daily has warned the introduction of post-Brexit border controls will result in delays of up to half a day and subtract large losses of earnings from businesses.

The warning is contained in a new joint report by the Irish and British business lobbies, Ibec and the CBI, which examines how Brexit might affect companies and sectors that operate on an ‘all-island basis’.

The ‘Business on a connected island’ report examined how delays to cross-border movements “due to divergence in regulations and standards either resulting in or following new border controls will cause considerable ‘friction’ across the entire spectrum of commercial activity that takes place within the all-island economy”.

One unnamed firm that exports goods from Donegal through Derry to Britain and beyond, which is quoted directly by the authors, paints a bald picture of what post-Brexit reality might look like.

“On a daily basis 45 lorries travel through Bridgend (Donegal) to the Lisahally Port (Derry) every day and others to Belfast for one contract,” the company cautioned.

“If controls were introduced, then the quickest time to process required documentation for such movements would be ten minutes and that would be exceptional; it could take half a day,” it advised..

The consequences of these kinds of delays for cross-border trade are likely to be drastic.

“For 60,000 tonnes that would involve 2,400 truck movements and at the record clearance time of ten minutes that would equate to 400 hours.

“This would result in 40 idle days costing about €24,000 loss of earnings for the truck,” the firm warned.

The IBEC/CBI report insists solutions are still awaited but “as this report highlights there is solid evidence of the potential cost disruption and consequent risk to firms, investment and employment in the all-island economy”.