Hello and welcome to my weekly Podcast …. Tom MacSweeney here ….
The reality of Ireland as an island nation is becoming more publicly apparent with each passing day as the possibility of a ‘no deal’ Brexit looms closer.
Our closest island neighbour will no longer be an easy communication route for people, transport, our exports and imports, but maybe a physical barrier to Europe.
While the Border with Northern Ireland has been the focus of concentration the Government’s ‘contingency plan’ – its plans to buy land around the ports to facilitate transport; the warning by Tanaiste Simon Coveney, who knows a lot about maritime affairs, warning of the ‘severe impact’ on the Irish economy; all coming this week lend emphasis to our island situation and highlight the importance of Government recognition of the marine sphere as a vital economic component… 95 per cent of all Irish exports and imports travel by sea…. That reality is now hitting home.
The ports, shipping and the fishing industry – with just 30 nautical miles from the East Coast to the British fishing zone – have been discussed, but what about the leisure marine sector and marine tourism?
What are the implications for cruising voyages to the British coast, to Northern Ireland and from Britain to Ireland? What about yachts competing in UK events…. What about offshore racing across the Irish Sea? What about events such as the big regattas in Dun Laoghaire, Cork Week, the Round Ireland Race and other events, for the situation of British non-EU boats taking part in Irish events? And of Irish/EU boats competing in British waters?
What will be the situation for inspections, Customs, transiting, etc? What about trailing boats across to Britain…. All maritime sports will surely be faced with some effect as Britain pulls out of the EU…. Has enough preparation been made for these scenarios….???
The new Chairman of the Irish Marine Federation, Paal Janson, said this week that barriers to investment around the Irish coastline have stymied growth in the marine sphere for too long.
Will Brexit create more barriers?
So far I haven’t been able to get satisfactory answers from State sources to the question of how high does the leisure marine sector rate in the Brexit preparations?
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