Karima Delli MEP: ‘Hard Brexit would be a disaster for transport’

Karima Delli at the European Parliament. [European Parliament]

European Parliament transport committee chair Karima Delli has warned about the “disastrous” consequences of a hard Brexit, especially on the transport sector. EURACTIV France’s partner La Tribune reports.

There could be grounded planes, decreasing maritime traffic across The Channel, 5% additional costs associated on the reinstatement of customs duties and French ports outside of trade routes and the list goes on, according to the MEP.

Passing through Paris on 8 October, Karima Delli presented the findings of a study on Brexit’s impact on the transport sector.

“An agreement would mean that the Commission does not wish to disrupt the economies and trade between the two parties. A transition period would begin until 2020 before a new free trade agreement between the EU and the UK is implemented,” she explained.

“But this scenario is not suitable to Theresa May because [in the intervening period] the UK would be obliged to meet European standards, pay its contribution to the EU, while losing its decision-making power in governance,” she continued.

“This is why, today, the ‘no-deal’ scenario, which would move the UK to the status of a third country, has never been so feared.”

“France on the doorstep”

France is right on the UK’s doorstep and, as such, should prepare for the unpalatable no-deal scenario, Dalli pointed out.

“A part of the coastal regions of The Channel and the North Sea is based on cross-Channel traffic. They should not have to suffer a crisis that would be related to the responsibility of European leaders,” she added, requesting the establishment of a compensation fund for the border regions.

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Dalli also criticised a proposal meant to amend the route of the “North Sea-Mediterranean Corridor”.

The text, which was published in the summer, aims to create new maritime freight routes between Ireland and the continent after Brexit so that Ireland is not isolated.

It is also intended to increase Ireland’s attractiveness in terms of international freight activities, which had previously passed through a British port and which will pass through an EU port in the future.

“The ports in Normandy, Brittany and the Hauts-de-France region have been forgotten,” Delli criticised.

“I have proposed two amendments which restore French ports into the Corridor through legislation using the interconnection mechanism, an infrastructure fund,” she said.

It will take until the end of November to see whether they will be adopted. On Thursday, Delli will meet the France’s transport minister, Élisabeth Borne, to discuss all of these matters.

Borne has already written to Violeta Bulc, the European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport, to ask for explanations.

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