Brexit: RHA meets with Truss and Lewis to discuss Northern Ireland

Brexit: RHA meets with Truss and Lewis to discuss Northern Ireland

13 Jan 2022 Posted By Paul Mummery

The RHA has met with government minister to put forward its views on the issues with moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

We discussed our views with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Northern Ireland Secretary of State Brandon Lewis and Chris Heaton-Harris at a virtual meeting.

The call allowed us to highlight the government’s Command Paper on the NI Protocol should be the framework for a resolution, and a solution on the movement of goods between GB and NI must result in there being no requirement for additional bureaucracy – such as paperwork of digital entries.

We also outlined the lack of clarity on checks and requirements for EU/Ireland goods moving to Great Britain via Northern Ireland.

Speaking about the meeting, Policy Manager – Northern Ireland, John Martin, said: “It was good to be able to articulate accurately, which we have done since day one, the sectors concern with the continuing difficulties in moving goods from GB to NI.

“The additional requirements are adding costs in the region of 20% for these movements and time delays of 3 to 4 days for some goods.

When the current easements and Government support schemes end the full cost will be significantly higher. Goods must be allowed to move between GB and NI with no additional requirements for information or paperwork/digital information”.

Working together

Truss and Lewis were keen to stress how the government wanted to work together to make progress and approach negotiations constructively.

Although the government said there was a deal to be done with the EU, it was also pointed out that there were problems with the way the Protocol is being operated.

Truss maintained the success of the Belfast/Good Friday agreement and desire to maintain political stability across the UK. She also said she understands the EU desire to protect the single market – but said there needed to be “a sweet spot” between the EU and UK positions.

If such a position couldn’t be found “alternatives” – such as Article 16 – would have to be considered, she said.

Chris Heaton-Harris MP, who is supporting Liz Truss with the EU negotiations, also said the government was open to meeting with NI businesses to discuss current issues.

The government is also meeting with RHA members in Northern Ireland to further discuss the situation.

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