Brexit Negotiations

The government is still hopeful of reaching a deal with the EU about the terms of our leaving and future relationship. However, the EU is saying that a sticking point is the question over the Irish border. I believe this to be a red herring.

At the moment, there is a political border in Ireland. Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland also use different currencies, have different rates of Corporation Tax, VAT, excise duties, Air Passenger Duty and Tourism Tax. Even so, trade continues seamlessly and people can move North and South, and to Great Britain for that matter, due to the Common Travel Area which was agreed in 1923.

I see no reason why these movements of goods and people should not continue after the UK leaves the EU. The Trade Facilitation Agreement, together with the World Trade Organisation objectives of frictionless trade, reduce the likelihood of the need for any significant delays or checks at the Irish border which would delay the import and export of goods. This likelihood is further reduced by the availability of technology.

Facilities, such as trusted trader agreements, checks at the origin and destination of goods and further technological procedures are all available now. I therefore see no reason why the EU cannot sign up to an agreement now. Delaying for a further twelve months, after the implementation period, will not bring about further so-called solutions.