Brexit could damage Welsh ports, report warns

Brexit could result in long delays at Wales’ ports and tailbacks on roads nearby, a Welsh Assembly committee has warned.

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A report by the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee has said many of Wales’ ports do not have the capacity or infrastructure to introduce border controls and customs checks which may be required after the UK leaves the European Union.

The committee’s chairman David Rees said: “Many Welsh ports lack the physical capacity to accommodate new customs and border checks, which could have an unwelcome effect including increased delays and congestion.

“We also know that there are fears in the industry that a future soft border in Northern Ireland, whilst a harder border exists across the Irish Sea, could pose a risk to Welsh ports as traffic may re-route to ports in England and Scotland.

“This would have a serious economic impact in Wales, and it is vital that the Welsh Government works with the UK Government to ensure that our ports and our industries aren’t unfairly disadvantaged by Brexit.”

A spokeswoman for Associated British Ports (APB), which runs Newport docks, said: “Whilst there may be challenges there are also opportunities to attract new cargo trades associated with distribution and logistics or manufacturing and value added facilities.

“ABP will seize these opportunities, using the land and facilities on its ports as well as investing to service new customers and trades.”

She added: “ABP is committed to investing and working with customers and government to ensure trade can continue to flow as smoothly as possible.”

About 18,400 people are currently employed at Wales’ ports.

Source: www.southwalesargus.co.uk, 4 August 2017

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