Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has said we are “now in project reality” as the outworkings of Brexit make themselves clear to those who supported it.
Speaking during an Assembly debate on the current disruption to products caused by Brexit, East Antrim MLA Mr Dickson said £50 an hour fines for truckers waiting to clear customs checks to enter the UK, due to be introduced from February 1, was the latest example of additional costs, red tape and friction due to Brexit.
“As was well laid out during the referendum campaign, any form of Brexit involves the addition of costs and friction. Those who supported Brexit accused us opposed to it as project fear. Well we are now in project reality and the last few weeks have proven us correct,” said Mr Dickson.
“Due to the 11th hour nature of the trade deal between the UK and EU, and despite pleas from many for an extension to the transition period, we have seen the outworkings of Brexit begin to take effect. The difficult time many are experiencing already, caused by the pandemic, has been exacerbated now by the Brexit advocated for by the DUP and others.
“The latest example is the £50 fine for truckers waiting on the greenlight to enter UK ports. We have taken the benefits of EU membership for so long, it would appear many have forgotten the reason the UK entered the EEC in the first place, which was to reduce frictions on imports and exports. The Economy Minister and others need to push so this situation is worked out and potential long-term problems such as the importing of medicines are resolved before exemption periods end.”