Displaying items by tag: Brexit
#Forum - The 2017 Maritime Commerce Forum will take place as a lunch-time event held in Dublin on Thursday 9th March. The time for the forum is from 12.30pm – 2.30pm and will be held at The Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Square. The venue is located in the capital's 'Docklands' quarter.
The event will follow on from a series of meetings held last year to discuss opportunities for Ireland in the area of ship leasing, maritime finance and maritime taxation. Given important developments, such as Brexit, which have occurred since the last meeting, the Forum looks forward to bringing this group together to discuss key opportunities for Ireland in light of a changing global environment. To launch the Forum this year and as a guest speaker is Mr. Alan Dukes, Chairman, Asia Matters.
Alan Dukes is the Chairman and co-founder of Asia Matters. He was a member of the Dáil (lower House of the Irish Parliament) for twenty-one years and during his political career served as the Irish Minister for Agriculture, Finance, Justice and Transport and Energy and Communications.
Alan was Leader of the Fine Gael Party for three years and was Chairman of the Irish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. He is a former Governor of the International Monetary Fund and a former Governor of the World Bank.
In his work at Asia Matters, he is strongly committed to the importance of two way benefits in Asia Ireland bilateral trade relations.
To reserve a place at the event from the Irish Maritime Development Office, RSVP to [email protected] by this Thursday 2nd March.
Opening the dialogue, Minister Creed highlighted the importance of ensuring that the Irish seafood sector is protected during Brexit negotiations.
“The key challenge for this Government,” he said, “will be to ensure that fisheries concerns and those of the wider seafood sector are high on the EU agenda and that our sector is not separated from the overall negotiations on a new EU/UK relationship.”
Minister Creed went on to say that for the Irish seafood sector, Brexit “poses a very particular set of serious threats over and above the trade implications common to most sectors.
“That is not to underplay the importance of a good trade outcome for the seafood sector but rather to emphasise the reality that this sector faces challenges that are unique.”
The minister explained that those threats were potential loss of access to fishing grounds in the UK zone and possible attempts by the UK to increase its current quota share at the expense of Ireland and others.
He added that “any changes to existing rights for the Irish and EU catching sector must be resisted strenuously.”
Speaking following the event, which took place in the Radisson Blu Hotel at Dublin Airport, Minister Creed commended the high turnout from the Irish seafood sector.
“Today’s turnout and active engagement by stakeholders from across the sector demonstrates the desire of all to pull together in the effort to protect Irish interests as we enter Brexit negotiations.
“I want to thank all concerned for their very positive contribution to what was a very engaging afternoon, and to assure them once again that their concerns and ideas will be taken on board.”
The sectoral dialogue saw a number of presentations by key sector stakeholders, followed by detailed discussions covering access rights, management of shared stocks, trade and aquaculture issues.
“Today was another important step in the ongoing journey we have all been engaged in since the June referendum in the UK. namely understanding and preparing for all of the possible implications arising from Brexit,” said Minister Creed.
“We still don’t know what exactly the UK will seek but the deeper our understanding of the issues, the better prepared we all will be for the challenges ahead.”
The potential impact of fishing vessels from elsewhere in the EU that might be expelled from British waters would put significant pressure on Ireland’s marine resource, the industry fears.
But there are also worries over the status of a post-Brexit Britain as a key market for Irish seafood, not to mention the concentration of quotas for certain species in specific regions – such as mackerel in the North West.
The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.
#DoverRecord – Record freight for Belfast Harbour user Stena Line on routes to Scotland and England for the year 2016 has also been achieved by other ferry operators based in the Port of Dover, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Dover, Europe’s busiest ferry port (served by operators, P&O and DFDS), experienced another healthy year in traffic volumes. The port is served by a total of 11 ferries on two short-sea routes linking to France at Calais and Dunkerque, which combined handled 2.6 million freight vehicles in 2016. Freight volumes in just the last four years have increased by 32%.
Commenting on the Port of Dover figures, Tim Waggott, Chief Executive of the Port said, "As we continue to handle more UK trade, the Port welcomes the prime minister's statement on the Government’s headline negotiating position for Brexit. Greater certainty of the broad parameters is a positive step forward"
He added: "Any changes brought forward to the country's trading relationship need to be mindful of the UK's absolute need to maintain the rapid transit of goods and passengers through Dover and our sister ports on the European mainland.
"The Port and the CBI remain clear that a barrier-free relationship with the EU - our largest, closest and most important trading partner - must be a critical outcome of the negotiations to ensure we make a success of Brexit."
On the vitally important trading shipping lanes of the Strait of Dover, was this morning the asphalt/bitumen tanker Iver Ability. As previously reported on Afloat, the long-stay Dublin Bay anchorage caller since last summer had on Saturday finally departed.
The tanker experienced a ‘reaction’ during transport of bitumen in Dublin Port in August and is currently heading further into the North Sea. The 2006 built vessel is bound for the Dutch port of Delfzijl.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland had a lot more than maritime matters on his mind this past week…. So he probably wasn’t giving a lot of thought to Lough Foyle as the Northern Assembly collapsed.
Neither, I suggest, was the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, when she announced how the UK will perform its Brexit from the EU.
I don’t think our Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, was either and probably not our Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan.
But, they should give Lough Foyle a lot of thought…
James Brokenshire claims that the whole of Lough Foyle is within the UK…. And as Secretary for Northern Ireland that’s an important claim…..
The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs says that Ireland does not accept that claim.
The Northern Ireland Office, under UK administrative control, cites a 1662 Charter of Charles the Second which included “the waters and bed, as well as the fisheries” of the Lough as part of County Londonderry….
Derry, of course, if you see it with Irish Nationalistic eyes…..
Lough Foyle is the estuary of the River Foyle separating Northern Ireland from the Republic, but the British claim to the entire Lough could take its rights up to the shores of the Republic and what will that do for such as the fisheries, for example, when the UK intends to take control of those back from the EU during its Brexit….
The Good Friday Agreement created the Loughs Agency as a cross-Border body for the Foyle.. so where does it stand in the context of Brexit?
Just though I’d mention it in the context, of course, of the past week…
Leinster House has rejected a claim by Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire that the UK includes the whole of the estuary between Counties Donegal and Derry, which has been under the auspices of the cross-border Loughs Agency since the Good Friday Agreement.
Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough, between Counties Louth and Down, are both matters of dispute between Dublin and London which have only intensified with the uncertainly over fishing rights as the UK prepares to leave the EU and the Common Fisheries Policy.
The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.
#ExportersBrexit - Bad news for Irish exporters into the UK as these imports will decline as foreign products become more expensive thanks to the weakening of sterling, ratings agency Fitch has warned.
The Irish Independent writes that a weaker sterling harms the competitiveness of Irish exporters because it cuts margins and makes it more expensive for them to do business in the UK. But it benefits UK domestic businesses.
The pound has weakened considerably since late last year. At the end of November, €1 bought 69 pence. At the close of polls on Thursday, that had weakened to 76 pence, but when the Brexit vote became apparent, it weakened further and is now hovering around the 83 pence mark.
Fitch said the fall in sterling will boost UK exports, but have a negative impact on imports.
"Imports look likely to decline as investment contracts and foreign products become more expensive, resulting in expenditure switching to domestically produced goods and services and higher inflation," the ratings agency has said.
The Irish Exporters Association and other business representative groups has already warned about the impact of currency fluctuations on Irish business.
Simon McKeever, the IEA chief executive, warned further weakening is likely.
And the organisation has called on firms to hedge against this and to talk to the banks.
For much more on this story click here.
#IrishUKTrade - Enterprise Ireland are to seek its clients to be less reliant on the UK markets. The Irish Times writes the reduction will cut the proportion of their exports that go to Britain by about seven percentage points over the next five years, following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
The agency responsible for helping Irish companies export to international markets, saw exports to the UK increase last year by 12 per cent to €7.5 billion.
The UK remains the Republic’s largest export market, though exports there as a proportion of Enterprise Ireland’s total client exports has declined from 45 per cent in 2005 to 37 per cent in 2015.
Enterprise Ireland UK and northern Europe director Marina Donohoe said on Monday “it would certainly be the intention” to reduce the figure further over the next number of years to mitigate the fallout from the referendum result.
For more on this story, click here.
Speaking to The Irish Times, Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO) CEO Francis O’Donnell said there was sympathy within the industry for Brexit due to the impact of Common Fisheries Policy quotas on their livelihoods.
New markets in South America, Asia and the Middle East could also replace any loss of access to the crucial EU common market, O'Donnell suggested, if Ireland were to "become a global player" and band together with the UK, Iceland and Norway.
Such sentiment within Ireland's fishing communities runs against the current of the majority of Ireland's farming sector, with the IFA urging Irish in the UK to vote to remain in the EU.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.