Britain Dismisses Idea Of Irish Customs Border

Britain Dismisses Idea Of Irish Customs Border

The government has proposed that there should be no "physical" border in Ireland such as customs posts.

In the position paper, London underlined its wish to maintain the Common Travel Area between the United Kingdom and Ireland, the rights of United Kingdom and Irish citizens and to uphold the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

The Republic of Ireland is the only European Union country to maintain a land border with the United Kingdom, through its connection with the north.

The government said it would seek to agree to a "time-limited period of implementation" after leaving the European Union to provide certainty for businesses and allow new Customs arrangements to be set up.

The UK has published a paper on the future of customs arrangements and on their position regarding the Irish border.

Over 30,000 people cross the Ireland-Northern Ireland border daily without customs or immigration checks.

The UK today (16 August) announced it wants to see "no hard border in the movement of goods" between the country and Ireland, setting out its position on one of the thorniest Brexit issues.

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The customs proposals are the first in a series of papers covering thorny issues in the negotiations, which are due to resume in Brussels at the end of this month.

The British paper said the UK's Home Office would not toss out the European Union's freedom of movement principle after Brexit, meaning foreigners from the bloc would still be allowed to live and travel in the UK.

Mr Coveney said the Irish Government will be "realistic and fair but we will also be stubborn in relation to defending Irish interests". "It offered two proposals; a streamlined customs deal that would be "as frictionless as possible" to "reduce or remove barriers to trade" and a new customs partnership that removes the need for a UK-EU customs border".

Josh Hardie, deputy director general of the Confederation of British Industry, said businesses "need to see much more detail from these papers". Goods move freely between union members but imports outside of EU borders face tariffs, said the Wall Street Journal.

The EU's chief negotiation on Brexit, Michel Barnier, said on Twitter yesterday that "the quicker #UK & EU27 agree on citizens, settling accounts and #Ireland, the quicker we can discuss customs & future relationship".

The Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said he welcomed the commitment to avoid any physical border.

"They'll be subject of now complex and costly red tape and delay being outside the Customs Union". Prior to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, about 3,600 people had died during so-called "The Troubles" - an ethno-nationalist conflict over the constitutional status of Northern Ireland - whether it should be part of Britain or Ireland.

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