Stena Lina sends new Belfast ferry to Rosslare in 'Brexit-busting move'
Stena Line has moved one of its new ferries from Belfast to Rosslare, Co Wexford, in what it has described as "another Brexit-busting move".
When the Stena Embla arrived in Belfast on 2 January the company said it would transport freight between Belfast and Liverpool.
However, the company yesterday tweeted that it would now be sailing the Rosslare to Cherbourg route.
Since the UK officially finished its formal separation from the EU on 31 December, 2020, there has been disruption to trade across the Irish Sea border.
The Irish Sea border means that most commercial goods entering NI from GB require a customs declaration.
Breaking news: in another Brexit-busting move our new vessel Stena Embla is NOT starting from Belfast as planned. She's being deployed on our Rosslare to Cherbourg route from tomorrow. It can add 3km of trucks & 175 comfy cabins - that's a lot of sleep-happy truckers. #brexit https://t.co/IrkDmnS8Np— Stena Line Group (@StenaLine) January 13, 2021
In a statement to the BBC, Stena Line said the relocation was "due to the current Brexit related shift for direct routes and increasing customer demand".
"Given the short-term market distortion, we have decided to temporarily deploy our new Stena Embla vessel on the Rosslare - Cherbourg route," said Paul Grant, Stena Line's Irish Sea trade director.
"Clearly Brexit has created an increase in the demand for direct freight routes, and in particular driver accompanied freight, so the addition of Stena Embla, whilst temporary, plus the recently introduced Stena Foreteller to the route will provide a welcome addition for our customers at this time."