British Irish Chamber of Commerce Reaction to UK Paper on the Future Customs Relationship with the EU

Director General John McGrane: “This is constructive but we are cautious about the feasibility of some of the proposals put forward”.

15 August 2017 – The British Irish Chamber of Commerce has reacted to the UK Government’s proposed future customs plan with the EU.

Speaking after the plans were published this morning, Director General of the British Irish Chamber, John McGrane said:

“The British Irish Chamber of Commerce welcomes this paper from the UK Government on its possible future customs relationship with the EU. Securing a comprehensive customs deal will be vital if we are to achieve a borderless trade arrangement both on the island of Ireland and between the UK and the EU post-Brexit.

“While this paper is definitely a positive step and a constructive contribution to the negotiating process, we are cautious about the feasibility of some of the proposals put forward. Securing a customs arrangement with minimum disruption for trade is vital for the businesses that the Chamber represents and it is encouraging to see the UK Government giving this important issue due attention.

“The recognition of the need for an interim period to allow for the adoption of new systems and infrastructures will be welcomed by businesses who have long warned of the dangers of leaving the Customs Union without such a transition phase. It is important that this phase is as close to the status quo as possible with minimum disruption caused by tariff and non-tariff barriers.

“The future customs relationship that is agreed between the UK and the EU will be hugely important for the future trade relationship on the island of Ireland. An agreement must be sought that ensures borderless trade can continue on the island in order to protect the economic and social gains that have been won over the past 19 years with the development of the all-island economy.”

The UK’s policy paper on Future customs arrangements: a future partnership paper can be read in full here.

The UK Government’s statement released alongside the paper can be read here.


For further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Q4 Public Relations

Paul Nallon / 086 869 4041 /

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