Chambers Ireland notes the publication of the UK Government’s policy paper on Northern Ireland and the border issues following the UK’s exit from the EU. While sensitively drafted and with an understanding of the complex issues at stake, Chambers Ireland believes that joined up thinking is needed across the various policy positions being floated by the UK Government.
Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said, “Ireland and the UK are on the same page when it comes to wanting no physical border and prioritising the need for efficient cross-border trade, while making maximum use of available technology and SME friendly arrangements. Our member Chambers along the border echo the need for such an arrangement. However, how this will be executed is uncertain. Both the EU and the UK appear to have very different ideas of what is workable and Ireland must not be caught in the middle. We will study the proposals in consultation with our members, particularly those concerning regulatory equivalence and measures that support SMEs.”
“We called for the maintenance of the status quo and a realistic transition period following the UK’s exit from the EU, allowing continued access to the Single Market and the existing Customs Union on an interim basis. Since the UK have committed to leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union, and have also declined to maintain the status quo during a transition period, the border with Northern Ireland will be a new land border with the EU in 2019. It’s not realistic for the UK Government to say they are content to have an open border when they know that cannot be facilitated within EU law, nor to expect that solutions can be identified, negotiated and implemented in that timeframe.”
“The enormity of the changes facing the business community following Brexit cannot be underestimated. A realistic implementation period must be prioritised by both negotiating teams and therefore it is imperative that substantive negotiations between the parties on the real issues facing business commence as a matter of urgency. Everyone needs to be realistic that significant compromises will have to be reached to find a workable future arrangement.”