Restoring GB Landbridge is a must for UK-EU trade.
Many traders voice their opinions that both UK and EU governments/industry bodies should work together to restore the ‘GB Landbridge’ through the improved use of transit procedures, a freeport in Wales and by establishing a ‘digital trade corridor’ over the Irish Sea.
Brexit has resulted in many new challenges for traders when moving consignments from Northern Ireland, Mainland Britain, and ROI into the EU, with the requirements of new import and export formalities – including customs declarations resulting in a 20% drop in trade.
The GB Landbridge for both Northern Ireland and ROI traders and suppliers is an important trade route and has been the backbone of trade prior to Brexit. Many worry that the situation will only get worse for movements across the Landbridge due to the regulations that still to be introduced for EU goods entering GB when the government publishes its much-anticipated Target Operating Model for the GB border this spring.
Ian Hampton, the chief operating officer for fleet and government affairs at Stena Line, said that it was trying to influence governments in the UK and Ireland to “bring back Landbridge traffic by dealing with the complexity of rules that are in place post-Brexit”.
The GB Landbridge is a cheaper and greener route alternative with reports showing carbon emissions for goods moving through GB at 21% lower than those moving from Ireland to the EU direct. Its economic benefits for each of the UK, ROI and the rest of the EU is substantial with overall transit times being almost cut in half.
We at Westmond continue to work with the relevant government bodies, raising the relevant transit documentation for our customers to avail of the GB Landbridge as they did before Brexit. However, the added complexity of transit documents and maintaining the ‘Union Status’ of cargo is difficult due to customs authorities within the EU not fully understanding the Northern Ireland protocol.
We hope that with the negotiations around the Northern Ireland protocol, that ground can be set to develop and restore the GB Landbridge to its former glory accelerating trade and cutting costs for all traders and suppliers supply chains.
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