Irish Businesses Welcome UK Position On Brexit Customs Checks
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has welcomed the UK government’s aim to avoid customs checks in Ireland, and develop new arrangements with the EU.
However, the group has also warned that the UK’s departure from the EU customs union would present very serious challenges to achieving these aims, and that businesses would end up paying the bill at various points in the supply chain.
“The recognition of the many unique problems that Brexit presents to Ireland is welcome, but we’re a very long way from resolving the issues,” said Danny McCoy, CEO of Ibec.
“These are complex problems that require detailed, workable solutions. These could well be elusive if the UK continues to stick to its current hard Brexit trajectory. “
Ibec says that it welcomes the proposed Ireland-UK common travel area, but remains concerned about the impact of Brexit on North-South trade and business relations on the island of Ireland.
“Any new customs border on the island of Ireland, and between Ireland and Britain, presents major economic and logistical challenges and risks imposing significant additional costs on business,” said McCoy.
“There is no simple solution that will satisfy the needs of all parties to the negotiations. A detailed, costed impact assessment is needed to weigh up the options available and properly inform the debate.”
The group has also expressed concern over the higher costs which could arise from complex customs procedures, tariffs, and import duties emerging between the UK and the EU.
“The belated recognition that the UK needs a transitional customs union is welcome,” added McCoy. “The UK will, however, also need to adhere to single market rules if goods and services are to continue to trade freely during this period.”
“UK Brexit policy continues to be dictated by domestic party political concerns, not rational economic considerations. We all stand to lose out as a result. A fundamental rethink of the UK position is needed if we are to avoid a significant economic hit to key sectors of the economy.”
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.