13/03/2019

Govt Rule Out Irish Border Tariffs In No-Deal Brexit

Tariffs will not be applied to goods entering Northern Ireland from the Republic in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The details were published by the government this morning, Wednesday 13 March, stating what will happen if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.

The plan, which recognises the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland, comes after the Brexit deal was defeated in the House of Commons on Tuesday evening by 149 votes.

MPs will vote again later today on whether to block the UK from leaving the EU without a deal on 29 March. In such an eventuality, there would be checks on some goods entering the rest of the United Kingdom.

Measures will also be put in place to avoid a hard border, which Secretary of State Karen Bradley said would be temporary and short-term: "The Government has been clear that a deal with the European Union is the best outcome for Northern Ireland. But we will do all we can to support people and businesses across Northern Ireland in the event that we leave without a deal.
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"In the case of no-deal, the UK Government is committed to entering discussions urgently with Brussels and Dublin to agree long-term arrangements."

The UK Government plans to urgently enter discussions with the EU and Irish Government to decide upon long-term measures.

Meanwhile, the SDLP has said securing the backstop remains crucial to avoiding a hard border. The party's Brexit Spokesperson, Daniel McCrossan MLA, accused the British Government of "reckless" actions.

After a meeting with the Northern Ireland Office, he commented: "Attempts by the British Government to wash their hands of a hard border are dishonest. Under EU law a border is unavoidable if Northern Ireland enters a different trading relationship from the South. 

"The British Government are playing chicken on the issue of the border in an attempt to lay blame elsewhere. But what they need to understand, and fast, is that without a Backstop the hardening of the border is inevitable. 

"At some point Westminster will have to decide whether they want a Backstop or no Brexit at all, there is no other middle ground here."



(JG/CM)

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