The European Commission has excluded French ports as part of its plans for a new shipping route linking Ireland with the bloc post-Brexit in a move that could prevent them from accessing billions of euros in EU grants.

It will instead look at the routing of one of its corridors to connect Dublin and Cork with ports of Zeebrugge and Antwerp in Belgium, as well as the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, to transport trade directly from Ireland to mainland Europe.

While the UK can no longer be part of EU routes after Brexit, circumventing it prevents Irish exports to Europe from getting caught up in British customs.

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