Avoiding border posts is 'essential' for Ireland's economy

Avoiding border posts is 'essential' for Ireland's economy

Throughout the post-Brexit discussions, the British government has made it clear it does not want to see a return to the hard border of the past, an aspiration that until now has come with little detail.

"It is important to note that immigration controls are not, and never have been, exclusively about the ability to prevent and control entry at the UK's physical border", the paper stated.

The European Union replied to the paper on the same day of its release, saying the issue concerns bilateral relations and can not be addressed before sufficient progress has been made in negotiating the details of Brexit.

The Times said the proposals, which are not agreed across Government nor finalised, suggest European Union nationals would not be required to apply for a work visa to visit Britain to look for a job.

A spokesperson for the European Commission said this afternoon the two position papers published by the United Kingdom in the last 24 hours were a "positive step towards really starting phase one of negotiations".

Due to the Government's insistence that there must be "no return to the hard borders of the past" and that no physical border will be erected between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, EU citizens will be able to travel freely between them and into the rest of the UK.

"The suggestion of a cross-border trade exemption for smaller traders would address numerous UK's concerns about the potential adverse impact of enhanced customs processes on cross-border trade, and especially in the agri-food sector, but the European Union is likely to be concerned that it could create precedents elsewhere".

The UK government has said it does not want any checkpoints between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (RoI) following Brexit.

A government paper published on Tuesday set out its ambitions around future relations with the customs union - the EU's tariff-free trading area - one of the trickiest issues in negotiations over Britain's exit from the EU.

"They'll be subject of now complex and costly red tape and delay being outside the Customs Union".

Further, the British government has proposed new customs arrangements that would allow free flow of goods.

Ann McGregor, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Chamber, said: "For the businesses of Northern Ireland, the most important thing to have is clarity, so firms can plan ahead with confidence. There is no straightforward solution to this; if there was we would have heard it by now", Coveney told Irish broadcaster RTÉ.

London put forward two options for future customs arrangements with Brussels - the first one would involve no customs border at all and the second one counts with "highly-streamlined" customs checks.

The paper also says the Government wants the Good Friday Agreement written into European Union withdrawal agreement.



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