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Ghostly atmosphere on one of last ferries to Britain before Brexit takes hold
Thursday's early morning ferry from Dublin to Holyhead, one of the last before the January 1st imposition of a European Union trade border between the island of Ireland and the United Kingdom, had a ghostly quality to it.

The Irish Ferries Ulysses has capacity for almost 2,000 passengers, together with 1,342 cars and 241 trucks. In the event, there were perhaps 50 cars, divided roughly even between Irish and UK registration plates.

Freight trailers were visible mainly by their absence. I saw just four.

The ship's cafe was empty for almost the entirety of the crossing. In Boylan's Restaurant, half the chairs were stacked on tables, such was the absence of demand. The freight driver's separate eating area was closed, apparently due to lack of clientele.

In the ship's shop, festooned with sweatshirts, tourist tat, perfumes and alcohol, the absence of customers allowed the crew member in charge to concentrate instead on stacking shelves for the expected onslaught of shoppers once January 1st has come - and duty free has returned.

A similar "calm before the storm" feeling attends the motorway standard A55 dual carriageway that leads from Holyhead, across Holy Island and slicing on through Anglesey to the Britannia Bridge over the Menai Strait.

For five miles outside the north Wales ferry terminal, the second busiest in the UK, one side of the A55 has been designated a lorry park, similar to the approach road to Dover in Kent.



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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Dec 31st, 2020 at 06:26:02 PM EST

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