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UK’s top toilet roll supplier stockpiling in case of no-deal Brexit

London : One of the UK’s biggest suppliers of toilet and kitchen roll has been stockpiling about 3.5m rolls in UK warehouses in preparation for a no-deal Brexit. The German firm Wepa said it had been storing an extra 600 tonnes of toilet and kitchen roll in the last three to four months to safeguard supplies in Britain, in case ... Read More »

EU agriculture commissioner says UK customs plan violates WTO rules

London : The UK’s tariff system proposal is illegal, agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan said last week. The no-deal customs regime outlined by UK officials is admittedly “transitional” and only meant to last for 12 months only – but is clearly disruptive. What’s paramount, however, is that the UK’s tariff system proposal is illegal, according to agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan. As ... Read More »

Brexit: why was the Irish border ‘backstop’ so crucial to Brexit deal defeat?

After a late night dash to Strasbourg on March 11, the British prime minister, Theresa May, said she had agreed “legally binding” changes to the Brexit withdrawal agreement with the European Union. Designed to avoid the UK being kept indefinitely within the so-called Irish backstop, such changes were deemed key in order for MPs to agree to the Brexit deal ... Read More »

‘It’s all up to the UK to salvage Brexit now,’ says Varadkar

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has thrown down the gauntlet to the UK to come up with a workable solution to the Brexit impasse before it’s too late to stop a no-deal scenario. With talks in Brussels running into difficulty, the Taoiseach said Ireland had offered everything it can to help the situation. His position is backed up by EU chiefs who ... Read More »

Trade group warns 3,000 customs agents needed for hard Brexit

Up to 3,000 extra customs agents and a €50 million fund to train them will be required to process the surge in the volume of declarations on traded goods after Brexit, a group representing freight forwarders has said. The number of customs, safety and security, and transit declarations that will have to be filled out after Brexit will surge from ... Read More »

Brexit: Northern Ireland businesses not ready for no-deal

The HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) officials were giving evidence to MPs on the Public Accounts Committee Jim Harra told the committee that even if border processes were announced today there is “insufficient time for traders who wish to comply to get ready.” The UK will leave the EU without a deal on 29th March unless MPs back the Prime ... Read More »

Barnier ‘working on legal add-on’ to Brexit deal to help May

Michel Barnier has told EU ambassadors that he is having to repeatedly rebut British demands for a time limit on the Irish backstop but that he is working on a legal add-on to the Brexit deal to help the prime minister. During a meeting on Friday in Brussels, the EU’s chief negotiator expressed frustration with the British demands after the ... Read More »

Ireland bracing for the Brexit storm

A hooded crow scurries along the low tide line here at Rosslare Strand on a cold clear February morning. The black and grey bird is in the company of other feathered visitors from Northern Europe and further afield who spend the winter here in Ireland — Arctic terns flittering through the sand, beached shells and seaweed. Just off shore, a ... Read More »

Minister Heather Humphreys urges Irish businesses trading with UK to register for a Revenue customs number ahead of Brexit

London : Businesses that trade with the UK are being urged to register for a Revenue customs number as Brexit looms. Business Minister Heather Humphreys asked people to take a few minutes to register for a number if they want to continue to trade with the UK post-Brexit. Ms Humphreys made the call as she announced a series of free ... Read More »

Businesses trading with UK urged to register for customs number

London : Businesses that trade with the UK are being urged to register for a Revenue customs number as Brexit looms. Business Minister Heather Humphreys asked people to take a few minutes to register for a number if they want to continue to trade with the UK post-Brexit. Ms Humphreys made the call as she announced a series of free ... Read More »

Brexit: Irish government hopes no-deal plan ‘sits on shelf’

The Irish deputy prime minister has said he hopes that major legislation his government has prepared to manage a no-deal Brexit will never be used. Simon Coveney unveiled the wide-ranging bill on Friday, bringing together work by nine government departments. He said a “disorderly” Brexit would be a “lose, lose, lose” for the UK, the EU and the Republic of ... Read More »

Why smuggling across the border could worsen after Brexit

Central to the fate of the Brexit negotiations is the future of the Irish border. Politicians from all sides insist they want to avoid a return to border checks once the UK leaves the EU – but they disagree on how this can be achieved. The history of smuggling across the Irish border – and what already happens today – ... Read More »

Commission intensifies “no-deal” Brexit customs preparedness

In another move that the European Union is preparing for the UK to leave the bloc on March 29 with no exit agreement, the European Commission on Monday stepped up its “no-deal” outreach to EU businesses in the area of customs and indirect taxation such as value-added tax (VAT), given the risk that the UK may leave the EU without ... Read More »

‘We’re going back in time’: Brexit and the customs broker

Gerard O’Hare’s phoneline has been busy. As general manager of Beagan’s, the country’s largest independent customs broker, he and his staff have been taking up to 20 queries a day from callers concerned about Brexit. “The state of unreadiness among people out there is just unbelievable,” says the customs man who has been in the business long enough to remember ... Read More »

Ireland must face ‘a border on island or a border between Ireland and EU’ in no deal Brexit

The European Union will give Ireland some leeway to establish new border arrangements with Northern Ireland in case of a no-deal Brexit, sources in the bloc’s political hub Brussels said. But they said Dublin would soon have to come up with a plan to ensure the integrity of the EU’s single market or face checks on its own goods coming ... Read More »

Brexit: why customs are central to solving the Irish border impasse

In what was a rare victory in recent weeks for Theresa May, the British prime minister has won support from a majority of MPs at Westminster to return to the EU and reopen Brexit negotiations. However, EU leaders immediately indicated their unwillingness to revisit the Brexit withdrawal agreement. The crux of the deadlock is the future of the border between ... Read More »

How Brexit in the UK affects Northern Ireland

Within “Brexit”––the United Kingdom’s pending withdrawal from the European Union (EU)––is a lesson on how an international border can return to haunt the foreign power that imposed it, long before for reasons of political expediency. The border that separates my native Northern Ireland (NI) from its southern neighbor, the Republic of Ireland (ROI), also separates Britain from an orderly Brexit ... Read More »

More work needed on technological solution for Border – customs veteran

More practical work could be done to examine how “smart” technology could replace the contentious “backstop” solution to avoid a hard Irish border after Brexit, a former Swedish customs official said. Lars Karlsson, a former director of customs in Sweden, said that there had been little examination of whether or not technology could provide a solution to the Border question. ... Read More »

Brexit: why customs are central to solving the Irish border impasse

In what was a rare victory in recent weeks for Theresa May, the British prime minister has won support from a majority of MPs at Westminster to return to the EU and reopen Brexit negotiations. However, EU leaders immediately indicated their unwillingness to revisit the Brexit withdrawal agreement. The crux of the deadlock is the future of the border between ... Read More »

Ireland will not be sacrificed in Brexit deal, EU commissioner says

Ireland will not be sacrificed by the EU in its efforts to broker a Brexit deal with the UK, competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager has said. Amid concerns the proposed backstop arrangement to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland may be watered down to facilitate the UK, Ms Vestager said the EU stood firmly behind Ireland on the ... Read More »