The Brexit Deal And Northern Ireland

by | Oct 28, 2019

EU leaders backed and agreed a third extension to Brexit on Friday, and today confirmed a new deadline date of 31st January 2020.  This follows last week’s parliamentary votes to accept Boris Johnson’s deal but to refuse the short timescale.

The deal is a modified version of Mrs May’s deal which was voted down in the House of Commons three times. All sides involved wanted to avoid the return of a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, so some of the key amendments relate to the Irish border.

We have summarised some of the key points from the deal that relate to the subject of Northern Ireland:

  • Leaving the EU customs union

This will enable the UK to form new trade deals. A legal customs border will be in place between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (which remains in the EU). Duty tax will not have to be automatically paid on goods entering Northern Ireland from the UK unless those goods are at “risk” of being transported into the Republic of Ireland. (A joint committee of EU and UK representatives will outline which goods are to be considered “at risk”.)

  • Regulations on goods

Northern Ireland would retain the rules of the EU’s single market. Such rules- compared to those of the UK- remove the need for product standard and safety checks on goods at the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland as both become a part of the “all-island regulatory zone.” In the UK, this will imply more rigorous checks.

  • VAT

VAT will apply in Northern Ireland on goods but not on services. Northern Ireland will have different VAT rates to the rest of the UK- which is otherwise not permitted under EU laws.

  • Declarations

In this deal, the government has accepted the need, for now, for customs declarations on movements within the same UK territory and some politicians argue that this creates a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Brexit Secretary – Stephen Barclay – has commented “The UK does not intend to carry out checks, there will be a minimal administrative process.”

We await further detail on what the administrative process will entail. 

 

Customs Insights provide a range of customs related solutions including customs clearance, consultancy, Brexit planning and both AEO application and management. To talk to one of our customs specialists please email enquiries@customsinsights.co.uk or call 01304 211652.

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