Goods crossing from Northern Ireland to the Republic are low risk

A letter from Dr DR Cooper:

By Letter
Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 2:51 pm
Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Given that goods crossing the land border into the Irish Republic make up only 0.2% of all the goods imported into the European Union single market, and given that if those same goods were instead sent to the Republic by sea only 3% of the trucks would be inspected at the port, it seems unlikely that they could pose any significant risk to the integrity of the EU single market.

And given that only a minority of the goods brought into Northern Ireland are destined for onward carriage to the Republic it is obviously disproportionate to subject all of them to EU checks on entry.

However if the EU is genuinely concerned about the risk that their single market could be contaminated by unacceptable items in the trickle of goods coming in across the open land border then the UK government could easily seek to allay their fears by passing the export control laws foreshadowed in paragraphs 43 and 62 of the July Command Paper.

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There would be no need to seek EU permission to pass and enforce those United Kingdom laws, it would be a unilateral step on the part of the UK.

In any case why should either Brussels or Dublin object to a helpful UK move to protect their market?

Dr DR Cooper. Maidenhead

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