The Welsh Affairs Committee hears evidence from the Freight Transport Association, British Ports Association and Stena Line UK as part of its inquiry into the implications of the EU referendum result.
Having examined the EU (Withdrawal) Bill and heard views from the agricultural sector, the Committee will now focus on how Brexit might affect Welsh ports, particularly the Holyhead-Dublin passenger and freight route.
Welsh ports have been seen as key to the land bridge the UK provides between the Republic of Ireland and continental Europe. As a result, the Brexit settlement and future border arrangements between the Republic of Ireland and the UK could have a significant impact on how Welsh ports operate.
As the second largest roll-on roll-off port in the UK and a key passenger ferry route to Dublin, Holyhead may be more impacted by Brexit than ports that deal predominantly with other types of cargo. The potential re-introduction of customs checks has been highlighted as a particular challenge.
During this session the Committee are expected to examine the impact of the various Brexit scenarios on the Port of Holyhead, how the infrastructure for physical customs checks might be accommodated, the potential for a digital customs solution, and any preparations for Brexit planned or currently underway.
Tuesday 30 January , Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster
- Hans Norén, Chairman, Stena Line UK
- Captain Wyn Parry, Operations Manager Irish Sea South, Stena Line UK
- Mark Simmonds, Policy Manager, British Ports Association
- Chris Yarsley, Policy Manager, Freight Transport Association
Ahead of the session, Committee Chair David T. C. Davies MP said:
"Having heard about possible opportunities and threats to the Welsh agricultural sector created by Brexit, the Committee will now focus on the possible impact of the UK's departure from the EU on Welsh ports, particularly Holyhead.
There are a number of scenarios on the table when it comes to the departure deal and the future trading relationship, and we are looking forward to hearing from sectoral bodies and ferry operators about how these would affect their current passenger and freight routes to Dublin."