Guido brings you the ERG’s comprehensive analysis of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. At the table presenting the analysis are an ex-First Minister, 2 former Northern Ireland Secretaries and the former Brexit Secretary. ERG trying to show they mean business with their border question fix. Read it in full here:
Brexiteers in the ERG have published their eagerly awaited alternative solution to the vexed issue of the Irish border, after the full house of Boris Johnson, David Davis and Steve Baker turned out to the “World Trade Deal“ launch by Economists For Free Trade yesterday. This is starting to look like a coordinated push…
Brexiteers are emphasising that this proposal is based on existing EU procedures and precedents and claim that it directly addresses the EU’s concerns over the border, rather than simply reheating old ideas.
The proposals include a Common Biosecurity Zone on the island of Ireland with the UK and EU agreeing to maintain equivalence on agricultural regulations to obviate the need for food and animal health (SPS) checks on the border, which account for a major proportion of the physical inspections currently required on non-EU imports. Regulatory compliance on non-agricultural goods would be enforced by pro-active trading standards inspections at the point of sale, assisted by data-sharing and co-operation between authorities on both sides of the border.
Larger companies would use existing technologies including trusted trader schemes to declare goods crossing the border, while for small companies, goods declarations would be incorporated into existing systems for VAT returns, which all companies trading across the border already have to complete. Origin declarations would be simplified through the existing Registered Exporter (REX) scheme.
The Irish border issue has been cited as one of the main justifications for the Chequers plan. Does the Brexiteers’ alternative give them enough ammunition to chuck it?