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Govt confirms details of ‘no deal’ ferry link

A ferry will operate six days a week between Algeciras and Gibraltar to ensure no disruption to the supply chain for perishable goods moving from the UK to the Rock in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, the Gibraltar Government said.

Goods originating in the European Union will not be affected by a hard Brexit and will continue “as normal”.

But if there is no deal for an organised departure from the EU, goods moving from the UK to Gibraltar will have to be cleared for exit from the bloc at the nearest Border Inspection Post, which is in Algeciras.

“Despite the logistical hurdles which will need to be overcome, the public should note that the Government has now entered into an arrangement with a leading and well-established German shipping company to guarantee the availability of this narrow range of UK sourced products in Gibraltar after 31 December 2020,” the Gibraltar Government said in a technical notice.

“As from January 2021, ferries operated by the company contracted will operate the short sea route across the Bay of Gibraltar to transport trucks cleared at Algeciras to Gibraltar.”

“Moreover, the Government has also already announced that the infrastructural works which were required to be made at North Mole to offload trucks from ferries have already been completed and successfully tested.”

“The relevant Gibraltar food suppliers have now been informed about the ferry company’s operating schedule and the terms and conditions for use of the ample slots available.”

The ferry will arrive in Gibraltar at 7am and leave by 8am six days a week, calling at a ro-ro berth completed last year near the Western Arm in the North Nole.

“Even if there is no agreement with respect to the UK and Gibraltar’s future relationship with the EU, the public should not be concerned about the cutting off of supply chains to Gibraltar,” the technical notice said.

“This will not happen.”

“This means that Gibraltar will continue to be able to import food, fuel, medicines and other vital supplies irrespective of whether there is an agreement with the EU or not.”

Negotiations with respect to the UK and Gibraltar’s future relationship with the EU are ongoing.

As part of these negotiations, the Gibraltar Government said it is exploring a range of different options designed to suppress the need for customs controls on goods imported to Gibraltar via the EU.

“It remains the Government’s objective to secure a deal,” the Government added.

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