Port of Dover Cargo

Trade body Logistics UK has offered cautious optimism to this week's developments on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“The news of movement from both sides in the negotiations on the future of the Northern Ireland Protocol is welcomed by the logistics sector,' said the organisation’s Northern Ireland policy manager Seamus Leheny.'Logistics UK and its members have been clear from the outset on the tests which any new agreement must meet, and the solutions proposed by the EU are a positive step in the right direction.

“Both the UK government’s command paper and the recent EU’s proposals contain promising elements in response to the concerns and suggestions Logistics UK raised in its engagement with the two parties, to mitigate and solve the practical issues businesses and supply chains are facing in the implementation of the protocol.

'The proposed solutions concerning the level of required data and checks associated with SPS and customs procedures are welcome and couldreduce administration, costs and time associated with moving goods, especially food products, parcels, medicines and mixed-load consignments from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

However, Leheny said the devil is in the detail. 'Logistics UK is awaiting both the technical and legal texts before passing final judgement,' he added. 'Logistics UKwill continue to work closely with both the UK government and the European Commission to discuss these proposals in full to understand how these proposals will keep GB-NI supply chains moving efficiently.”