Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Computer Sciences, Business and Management.

Publication Details

In order to identify the risks of Brexit, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) of Ireland requested support from the European Commission to assess the risks of Brexit and prepare actions to mitigate Brexit’s impact on the freight, transport and logistics sector in Ireland. This was enacted under Regulation (EU) 2017/825 and the Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP Regulation). The Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM) invited the Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) to develop a scenario mapping framework, in an attempt to support DTTAS by modelling a range of post-Brexit scenarios.


The study quantifies the impact that new custom checks and Agri/SPS inspection procedures could have on agri-food supply chains. It is possible that these checks will be introduced at both EU27 and UK ports. The analysis shows the potential risks to the Irish agri-food supply chain. These risks are explained through a range of non-tariff barriers and Ireland/EU transport connectivity scenarios. There is potential for disruption in the long-established transportation routes between Ireland, the UK and Continental European markets. Direct shipping routes (i.e. links directly between Ireland and the EU26) have therefore been considered in this case. This consideration comes from the perspective of both practitioners in the field and experts from social, environmental, and economic disciplines. The study demonstrates how Irish agri-food supply chains are uniquely exposed to Brexit. Ireland has had strong ties with the UK market and has been a supplier for many decades. In 2018, agri-food exports from Ireland to the UK reached €5.6 billion, while imports from the UK yielded €4.5 billion. Overall, this provided Ireland with a trade surplus of more than €1 billion.1 In addition, about 38% of Irish unitised exports to Continental Europe transits via the UK land- bridge.2 Brexit poses an unprecedented risk to the competitive advantage that Irish agri-food products have cultivated in UK markets. This study reveals that the delivery time for all products will increase, in each scenario, which will diminish product shelf-life. This risk, of course, will affect both the value and quality of certain products, which in turn affects their competitiveness.


Directorate-General for Structural Reform (DG REFORM), EU Commission