Europort on agenda for Hogan visit
EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan was the key note speaker at a Brexit Conference hosted by Rosslare Europort and the Irish Road Haulage Association.
Speaking at the 'Keeping Trade Flowing' conference, he said that Brexit would happen and the Ireland needed to be prepared for whatever form it might take. He called for a doubling of capacity at Rosslare, saying all ports should get additional funding for infrastructure improvements, to allow greater connectivity for business after Brexit.
He said the forthcoming round of EU Regional policies 2021-2027 represented an opportunity for funding for which Ireland must be ready.
The objective of the conference was to examine ways in which the road haulage industry in Ireland and Rosslare Europort could benefit from Ireland's strategic location, given the potential changes in distribution patterns for international freight in the context of Brexit.
Also speaking at the event was Verona Murphy, President of the Irish Road Hauliers Association, who pointed out that Rosslare Europort offered the shortest sea route for goods and passengers to continental Europe, and said it was ideally poised for growth in a post-Brexit landscape.
'The Port can be a catalyst for investment within the region and offers real potential as a base for increased commercial and employment generating activities.
'In particular there is major potential for Rosslare to become a significant port for the transportation of agriculture and food products and as such it should receive the necessary designations and inspection facilities to enable this to take place. This would be of huge benefit to Rosslare, Wexford and the South East generally.'
Delegates at the conference included leaders from the haulage, freight and transport industry as well as representatives from the business and tourism community.
Also at the conference was Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune who took the opportunity to welcome a reform package for transport workers, approved by the European Parliament, which included better working conditions for drivers including clarification on minimum wage and rest.
Ms Clune is the only Irish MEP on the European Parliament Transport Committee. She said: 'By voting to pass these measures it will mean that transport workers will have better, modernised working conditions.'