Brexit trade disruption fuels boom at French and Irish ports

SourceFinancial Times
CountryMiddle east

Before Brexit, lorry driver Patrick Kirwan would have typically taken his load of frozen meat from France to Northern Ireland on the quick ferry across the English Channel, followed by a drive across Britain and then an Irish Sea sailing — but on a cold winter night in February he was preparing to take the 17-hour ferry trip direct to Ireland from the Normandy port of Cherbourg. “I’d say it’s because of the paperwork,” he explained from the cab of his O’Donovan truck at the docks. Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, remains in the EU’s trade area under the terms of the Brexit deal agreed in December. The UK’s departure from the EU on January 1 at the end of the Brexit transition period, and the resulting customs and health controls at the borders, immediately diverted trade between Ireland and the rest of the EU away from the UK “land bridge”. The ferry leaving Cherbourg on Thursday night more...