French Transport minister sounds Alarmed clock about Brexit Plans. The French Minister of Transport Elisabeth Borne finds the procedures for new sailing routes after Brexit “unacceptable”.
The fresh sea transport paths run between Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands.
While Belgium and the Netherlands benefit, Borne fears that French ports are missing out on the money.
The minister wrote an angry letter to the European Commission about the plans last weekend, according to reports.
“In its current form, this proposal is not admissible for France,” says Borne.
The European Commission proposed on 1 August to adapt the transport route for goods between Ireland and the mainland after Brexit.
The frequently used North Sea Mediterranean Corridor now runs from Ireland via the United Kingdom and over the sea to the French Calais.
After a hard Brexit, that route becomes unusable, thinks the European Commission. Transporters lose too much time at the two border controls.
First, they would have to wait between Ireland and the United Kingdom (UK) and then they would encounter a check between the UK and the mainland.
According to the European Commission, the route can only continue with a ‘soft Brexit’, with the United Kingdom remaining within the common market.
French-Irish connection is logical
The French Minister Borne fears that the French ports will miss out on EU support and goods transshipments to and from Ireland. Moreover,
the “maritime connection between Ireland and France is logical”, the minister twitters.
Geographically, the French ports are closer to Ireland than Zeebrugge and Rotterdam. “Remarkably, the Committee’s proposal does not take this into account.”
The European Commission demonstrates that the plan is based on existing shipping routes.
At the moment there is hardly any cargo transport between Ireland and France, but between Rotterdam and Antwerp and Dublin and Zeebrugge.
Good news for Rotterdam
The European Commission, therefore, proposes to add sea routes between Cork and Dublin in Ireland and Zeebrugge, Antwerp and Rotterdam.
Moreover, arrival in Rotterdam and Antwerp would be more interesting for shippers, because those ports are closer to the European hinterland.
That is good news for Rotterdam, states a spokesman for the Port of Rotterdam Authority against NRC. He thinks that Rotterdam will benefit from this.