'Assurances given of no customs checks' at Larne port post Brexit

 The port of Larne "is a key piece of infrastructure not only for Mid and East Antrim but the whole of Northern Ireland" according to Anne Donaghy
Michelle Weir

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Chief Executive Anne Donaghy says she has been told there will be no new infrastructure built in Larne and no customs checks, post Brexit.

Ms Donaghy told councillors she had been informed by Northern Ireland Secretary of State Brandon Lewis.

Mrs Donaghy said: “Larne Port is a key piece of infrastructure not only for Mid and East Antrim but the whole of Northern Ireland. We are clear that in terms of supply chain needs around Covid that the Port of Larne was an essential supply chain route.”

She also reported that £17m worth of support had been provided to Northern Ireland ports by the Executive in addition to money provided by the British government to ferry companies.

“We have to really focus on the strategic importance  of Larne Port for our economy and part of our economic recovery plan will also rely on tourism and supply chain that we have with the east/west relationship.

“Part of that is about good infrastructure. We absolutely have to keep high on our agenda our lobby for the A75 and A77 when we get to the other side in Cairnryan. It works both ways.

“That infrastructure will allow people to come to Northern Ireland through Larne. In order to secure that, the way forward will be to organise a North Channel Partnership meeting in June.

“As we emerge from Covid recovery, the links and infrastructure between ourselves and Scotland become even more important.”

Mid and East Antrim is part of a  North Channel Partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council in Scotland.

The council regards the development of the A75 and A77 in Scotland as crucial to  fulfilling the full potential of the A8 as a key economic corridor through Scotland, England and Europe.

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