Northern Ireland

Getting Brexit Done


(Sept) Government introduces 'Internal Market Bill'. It says "These provisions aim to stop any part of the UK from introducing regulations that would block the flow of goods from any other part of the UK." This contradicts what was in the NI Protocol - agreed by UK & EU less than a year ago. Many of us said there would have to be checks, but Bojo said he would throw any bits of paper int he bin. Bojo trumpeted an 'Oven Ready Deal tat helped him to win the election to 'Get Brexit Done'. Afterwards Gove said there would be barriers in Irish Sea. But now they are ignoring that too. The main worry is this may mean that the boredr betrween Ireland and NI will re-appear in orer to carry out the customs chechs which were going to be in the Irish Sea. Eventually this was jetisoned in Dec

"A trusted trader scheme has been agreed for Northern Ireland with the aim of easing food imports after January 1st and offering a grace period for the implementation of some Brexit-related checks on goods. The grace period of implementation of export health certificates on agrifood products brought into the North from Britain, was agreed to delay costly procedures feared to have implications on the viability of food imports across the Irish Sea as it would require individual inspections for goods such as ham sandwiches.

Under EU rules, there is no provision for the import of high-risk goods such as fresh, unfrozen meat or ready meals into the single market from outside the EU, potentially barring imports into the North from Britain. On this issue, there will also be a grace period of implementation to allow supermarkets to adjust supply chains to source such goods elsewhere." The sunset clause lasts 3.5 yrs and the UK-Eu Committee will adjudicate any changes needed if things don't work out.

Sausage war erupts

As transition period ends, chilled meats not allowed from GB in to NI - as still in Single Market.

UK asks EU to suspend imminent ban on the sale of British sausages in Northern Ireland 'to give both sides "breathing space" to negotiate an agreement on the Brexit protocol and avert a trade war.
I thought it was 'oven ready' months ago?

Lords attempt (July '20) to ban live exports frustrated by complications over Northern Ireland.

"The Government is ‘actively considering’ how it would take forward its manifesto pledge to control live exports"
'Drop in the ocean' "While the government’s last-minute £200m investment in the so-called Trader Support Service has been welcomed as a solution to the Northern Ireland border, it’s a drop in the ocean versus the extra costs of Brexit. Customs bills alone are expected to cost £7bn each year"

Northern Ireland protocol

Basically NI is in Customs Union with Britain, while in the Single Market with Ireland (so they will maintain EU food standards). This means no tariff checks are needed between Britain and NI nor any non-tariff checks on farm goods between Ireland and NI.

However that means there will be tariff checks between NI & Ireland, and 'non tariff' checks on goods between NI and Britain, and tax checks too - that can be refunded if stuff stays in NI.

There will be border control checks in Belfast, Larne and Warrenpoint. "The prime minister agreed checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain in a breakthrough meeting in Wirral with his Irish counterpart, Leo Varadkar, last October. However he was then accused of misleading the public after he was recorded on video telling local businesses weeks later that there would be no checks. He said: "if any business is asked to fill in such paperwork, they should telephone the prime minister and I will direct them to throw that form in the bin”. Checks will kick in next year whether there is a deal on trade or not.

Gove confirms there will be checks in Irish Sea. He confirmed:

"The checks would be necessary to ensure the entire island of Ireland maintained “disease-free status”, with border inspection posts for agrifood arrivals at Belfast port, Belfast international airport, Belfast City airport and Warrenpoint port. There would also be “expanded infrastructure” at some of these sites, with Larne port, where checks on live animals are already carried out, designated as the principal port for livestock after Brexit."
New policy expected (Feb '20) that would mean physical checks on food such as tomatoes, cheese and meat coming in from the EU (ie Ireland), including beef and dairy from Ireland, as well as paperwork on imports, starting 2021. Business to be told Feb 10 to start preparations.

Mixed Milk Pool The issue of a mixed milk pool involving suppliers from both sides of the Northern Irish border is “a real problem” – but efforts are underway to overcome this, according to Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney. “It is a real problem. I do not want to pretend it will be solved easily. “About 900 million litres of milk comes south from Northern Ireland farms to be processed. Lakeland Dairies is probably the best example of a processor which has a very significant percentage of its milk pool coming from the North, but Glanbia and others do too.”