Ross reveals ideas for post-Brexit border

The Tranport Minister on a "worst-case scenario" way of dealing with commercial vehicles...

Ross reveals ideas for post-Brexit border

Picture by Shawn Pogatchnik AP/Press Association Images

Transport Minister Shane Ross has said that the Government are looking at the idea of making commercial vehicles stop at customs depots when they are crossing the North-South border to deal with the trade problems posed by a hard Brexit.

Speaking to the Irish Independent at a Brexit conference on the transport sector, Ross said:

"If people and goods are stopped physically [at the border], it's going to cause real, real difficulties, so we have to be ready for that.

"I think there's another idea of depots, so that ordinary individual travellers can go one way, but there'll be goods depots where [commercial vehicles] have to go through some procedure.

"It's only an idea I've heard floating around my department."

An electronic border was also one option currently on the table, he added. He stated that the depots would be seen as a solution to not "inconvenience the tourists and other people like that".

The Department of Transport responded by stressing that it was a "worst-case scenario" and did not offer further details to the paper. 

The transport conference heard that the Brexit vote has already seen some eastern European workers leave Ireland, flights cancelled between Donegal and Glasgow, a slowdown in regional development and sluggish growth at Rosslare Europort.

More than 100 attended the department-organised conference, including state agencies, business and haulage representatives.

The negative impact on the Irish motor industry was also highlighted, as used car sales have slumped.

There were also calls for a Brexit minister. Ross said of the sentiment felt at the conference, where there were calls for a Brexit ministerial position to be created:

"I take the point that people are saying that the Government must up the tempo.

"I think the tempo is quite fast at the moment and some would say that it's too fast, considering we don't actually know quite where we're going to land."