Duty-free shopping to UK may return, says airport boss

October 11th, 2019 6:03 PM

By Southern Star Team

Cork Airport's Niall MacCarthy at Leinster House.

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FLIGHTS will continue to operate as normal at both Cork and Dublin airports in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, according to the managing director of Cork Airport.

However, Niall MacCarthy – who is also the DAA (Dublin Airport Authority) executive Brexit lead – warned of the wider macro-economic impact that such a scenario would bring to Irish tourism and business.

He was addressing a meeting of the Seanad Special Select Committee on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union at Leinster House last week.

Mr MacCarthy said that an internal Brexit planning team has been focussed on identifying and understanding all of the potential impacts which Brexit could bring for Irish airports and their passengers. 

‘If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, emergency regulation will come into force at EU level to protect air connectivity for passengers and freight between the EU and the UK and it’s important that we all get this messaging out to the travelling public,’ he said. ‘In terms of security processes, there will be no changes or additional requirements for UK-bound passengers departing from Irish airports, as a result of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.’

He said that the Irish government has now confirmed that duty-free shopping will return on alcohol and tobacco products if the UK leaves without a deal.

For UK passport holders arriving at Irish airports in the event of a no-deal, they will be processed through the re-designated ‘EU/EEA/CH and UK’ channel. Mr MacCarthy added that that there will be no additional or onerous immigration checks applied to UK passport holders at Irish airports.

‘Our expectation is that the operational impacts for Irish aviation and Irish airports will be relatively minimal in a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario,’ said Mr MacCarthy. 

‘However, I cannot emphasis enough the macro-economic damage which will arise to tourism and travel in the Irish economy from the currency and other effects of a no-deal Brexit.’

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