Inquiry into the implications of Brexit for Welsh ports


The External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee as part of its remit to consider the implications for Wales of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union decided to undertake an inquiry into the implications of Brexit for Welsh ports.


As part of the inquiry the Committee considered:

  • What risks and opportunities did Brexit present for Welsh ports?
  • What steps should be taken, and by whom, to mitigate any risks and secure any benefits?


Evidence gathering


The Committee took oral evidence as part of its inquiry on the following dates:

12 June 2017 (577 KB)

3 July 2017 (311 KB)


The Committee also undertook a rapporteur visit to Dublin to speak to counterparts in the Irish Government, businesses and stakeholders in the maritime sector. Read the rapporteur summary of the discussions (PDF 192KB).


The Committee also received written evidence as part of the inquiry, which can be viewed below.




The Committee’s report on the implications of Brexit for Welsh ports was published on 4 August 2017. Read the full report.


On the day the report was published, David Rees AM, Chair of the Committee, said:


"Welsh ports directly support 18,400 jobs, and many more besides.  At the moment, Holyhead and Fishguard both work on the premise of seamless travel from one side of the Irish Sea to the other for goods and people. We learned that many Welsh ports lack the physical capacity to accommodate new customs and border checks, which could have an unwelcome effect including increased delays and congestion.


"We also know that there are fears in the industry that a future soft border in Northern Ireland, whilst a harder border exists across the Irish Sea, could pose a risk to Welsh ports as traffic may re-route to ports in England and Scotland. This would have a serious economic impact in Wales, and it is vital that the Welsh Government works with the UK Government to ensure that our ports and our industries aren't unfairly disadvantaged by Brexit."


Response to the report


The Welsh Government laid its response to the report in October 2017. The report was debated in Plenary on 11 October 2017. Watch the debate on Senedd.TV.



Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: Complete

First published: 31/05/2017