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British Ports ‘Cautiously’ Welcome Brexit Deal

The British Ports
Association (BPA) has reservedly welcomed the news that a Brexit deal was
agreed between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Under the new deal,
Northern Ireland will remain part of the UK’s customs territory but also an
entry point into the EU’s customs zone.

Commenting on the
withdrawal agreement, Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the BPA, said: “We
cautiously welcome news of a withdrawal agreement although there remains some
fundamental issues for ports across Britain and Ireland to manage.

“We have repeatedly
warned that a no-deal Brexit would be unacceptable and we now look forward to a
more orderly process and reiterate our view that a future relationship should
prioritise the flow of trade at our frontiers.”

“The trade between
the island of Ireland and Great Britain is important and particularly that
between Northern Ireland and Britain,” he stressed.

The agreement is
yet to be ratified by European leaders and lawmakers ahead of the October 31

Although the UK and
the EU finally reached the deal, its ratification in parliament is not certain
yet as Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) refused to support
In a separate
statement, the party pointed out:
“These proposals
are not, in our view, beneficial to the economic well-being of Northern Ireland
and they undermine the integrity of the Union. Our main route of trade on an
East –West basis will be subject to rules of the European Union Customs Union,
notwithstanding that Northern Ireland will remain part of the UK Customs

DUP added that all
goods would be subject to a customs check regime despite their final
destination and that consumers in Northern Ireland would face increased costs
and potentially less choice due to checks being implemented.

“Throughout all the
discussions on these issues we have been clear that Northern Ireland should not
be subjected to administrative burdens which will be entrenched for the
World Maritime News

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