“Moving the problem won’t fix the problem” says John McGrane, Director General
Reports that the UK government is considering a ten-mile-wide border buffer zone on the island of Ireland were today dismissed as unworkable by the British Irish Chamber of Commerce.
Following the emergence of the proposal, John McGrane, the Director General of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce said: “Moving the problem of the Border to ten miles away won’t solve the problem. All that will happen in a dual-territory model is added costs of complying with double regulations – and more costs means less jobs”.
The Chamber is aghast that, with the clock on UK/EU negotiations ticking down daily towards a potential hard Brexit, the UK government is still not saying clearly how it will deliver a borderless future for trade both north/south and east/west between the UK and Ireland.
John welcomed the UK’s reported abandonment of fanciful ideas based on non-existent technology or on helping only a minority of trusted traders or on some convoluted tariff collection scheme. He went on to note that “the real issue of border checkpoints is about whether the UK still insists on importing goods from other non-EU countries because, if it does, that needs a border both north/south and east/west.”
He continued by saying: “Exactly what country does the UK want to trade independently with?”, he said, “because there is simply no viable separate deal that could be worth them not being in a full partnership with the EU, enabling comprehensive open trade for all goods and all services.
“It’s too late to be floating vague unworkable notions. The British Irish Chamber’s unique package of Big Principles for a Strong Brexit Partnership gives the UK a set of practical solutions that can work for all involved and we urge them to adopt them without any further delay.”