Channel Island ferries to Normandy are ‘unlikely to be affected’ by Brexit
FERRY services between the Channel Islands and Normandy should not be affected when Britain leaves the EU, the managing director of Manche-Iles Express has said.
Hugues-Robert Gros, whose company runs regular services between the islands to the small ports of Granville, Carteret and Diélette, does not think that any changes will have to be made to port infrastructure or procedures following the Brexit deadline on 29 March 2019.
It follows comments from Hervé Morin, the president of the regional council of Normandy, who, alongside a number of other business leaders, warned that Brexit was a ‘major threat’ to the region’s economy and said they may have to spend between 20 and 30 million euros on implementing new border infrastructure if there was a ‘hard’ no-deal Brexit.
Mr Morin, who last week met Channel Island representatives at a political and cultural summit in Guernsey, also published an open letter to the country’s administration, demanding subsidies to pay for the changes. He said they should be prepared for ‘the worst’.
‘France has started to dream. It is dreaming of Brexit as though it were an opportunity, notably for the financial sector in Paris. But for the regions next to the Channel, and notably here in Normandy, the diagnosis is very different,’ he said.
‘A Brexit without an agreement represents, for our economy, and especially for the economy of our ports, a major threat.’
However, Hugues-Robert Gros, managing director of Manche-Iles Express, said that he thought only Normandy’s major car ferry and freight ports would be affected.
‘I do not think the small ports will be affected and we have no direct links to the UK. I expect that it will be OK,’ he said.
‘It could be different in places like Caen, Ouistreham and Le Havre but I do not think it will be a problem for Manche-Iles Express.
‘We already have police controls in place at our ports in Normandy and I think nothing will change.’