Published On: Wed, Aug 21st, 2019

Brexit News: Customs expert confirms there are alternatives to a hard border in Ireland | UK | News

Chair of Joint Customs Consultative Committee Peter MacSwiney confirmed that goods could be checked away from the Irish Border using technology. Mr MacSwiney noted that this would be a difficult process for some “micro-businesses” but noted that it could be done for other types of business. He told Sky News’ Kimberly Leonard: “Well, I guess there are alternatives to the backstop.

“Technology is available to track goods, to report goods, we have got systems of fiscal clearance away from the physical frontier.

“But it all hinges on the person moving the goods tells you they are doing that.

“We can certainly make the process easier for legitimate businesses.

“We can streamline that and avoid any really hard border or any intervention at the border.

JUST IN: Ireland refuses to discuss UK border plans for no-deal Brexit

“But it doesn’t address all people, the micro-businesses that move goods backwards and forward a couple of times a day.

“They use their private cars to move goods.

“And they just do this without having to do any formalities or any reporting really.

“It is difficult to see how you can sign them up.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Johnson said: “What I’ve also said is that under no circumstances will the UK be putting in any kind of checks at the border in Northern Ireland.

“We simply don’t think that that is necessary.

“And it’s a bit of a paradox because it is the other side, a bit odd, the other side of the argument, the EU, who seem to think it might be necessary to have checks for them to preserve the integrity of the EU single market.”

Mr Johnson also reiterated his opposition to the Northern Irish backstop, saying he will not support any withdrawal agreement that includes it.

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