Pat Haskins steers his tanker towards the river Blackwater, a murky waterway that in theory will soon mark the frontier between the United Kingdom and the European Union. A narrow sliver separating rolling hills in County Monaghan in the Irish Republic from rolling hills in County Tyrone in Northern Ireland, it is not much to look at. Blink and you miss the drive across the short two-lane bridge. On Haskins’s left, two donkeys graze in a field. On his right, trucks roll south. His 46-tonne rig is headed north. The only indication he has entered the UK is a road sign giving the speed limit in miles rather than kilometres. “I remember what it was like before the border went,” says Haskins, 61. “You had to go to Dundalk to get clearance from the south to go north. Then you had to go to Newry to get clearance to go into the north. It was a bloody nightmare.” The tanker carries 27,500 litres of milk from southern farms for Strathroy dairy in Omagh, 20 miles … [Read more...] about ‘Planning is a nightmare’: Irish milk firm fears ‘lights out’ after Brexit
Brexit border ireland
A no-deal Brexit could lead to tariffs of 40% or more being imposed on food such as beef and cheddar cheese, driving up prices in shops and squeezing household budgets across the UK and Ireland, retail organisations from both countries have warned. With mounting fears that the UK could leave the European Union without an agreement in 36 days’ time, the British Retail Consortium (BRC), Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC) and Retail Ireland, issued a joint warning that this outcome could lead to delays at borders and shortages of fresh meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. The scheduled withdrawal on 29 March comes at a time in the year when the UK imports a lot of fresh, out-of-season, produce – 90% of the lettuce consumed in Britain, 80% of tomatoes and 70% of soft fruits come from, or arrive via, Europe. Increased tariffs, the devaluation of sterling and new regulatory checks would drive up the cost of fresh food and drink, which would be passed on to consumers, the … [Read more...] about UK and Ireland retailers warn of 40% tariffs on food in no-deal Brexit
One of the UK’s largest dairy producers has warned that a badly handled Brexit could lead to price hikes for food, and scarcity in the shops from April 2019, with dairy and meat products particularly hit. Gabriel D’Arcy, the chief executive of LacPatrick in Strabane in Northern Ireland, complained that ministers were too focused on financial services and were putting the country’s food security and food standards at risk. “The impression in the industry is we are not relevant or sufficiently relevant to get a strong hearing in the negotiations. The risk is we are a chip that will be traded. And that might be fine for England and Wales but not here in Northern Ireland,” he said. “Whitehall is fixated with financial services and they are not that bothered about food.” The farming boss from Northern Ireland is happy for Britain to leave the customs union and single market but not until someone in government “articulates the vision in detail … [Read more...] about Food prices would soar after no-deal Brexit, warns major dairy boss
FRANCE is promising business a “smart border” to solve Calais chaos in the event of a No Deal. Arch Brexiteer MPs leapt on the revelation yesterday to say it proved cutting edge technology could be used to solve the row over the Irish border. Under the plans released by French customs, hauliers would enter a customs declaration before travel – generating a specific bar code. ‘Smart’ cameras would then use number plate recognition to identify lorries on arrival – checking the vehicle against the load in “real time”. Drivers would then be guided towards a “green” channel automatically, allowing them pass straight through the customs control - or diverted to an “orange” lane for checks. Eurosceptics said it showed Theresa May had been wrong to dismiss technological solutions and “trusted trader” schemes to avoid the need for a hard border in Ireland a year ago.The idea has been revived by Brexiteers and … [Read more...] about France promises business ‘smart border’ to solve Calais chaos if No Deal Brexit
Are we finally going to learn this week whether there will be a Brexit deal? Perhaps. The EU summit starting on 17 October has long been seen as a hard deadline, but EU leaders will not negotiate legal text in the middle of the night and, realistically, for a deal to happen most of the components would have to be in place by next weekend. Emmanuel Macron has floated this Friday as a deadline, although No 10 thinks 14 October will in practice be the last possible moment for a deal. What are the main issues dividing the two sides? There are two, both relating to Northern Ireland. To avoid a hard border after Brexit, a longstanding goal for both sides, Boris Johnson has produced a plan for a new version of the backstop that would keep Northern Ireland in the single market for goods while also keeping it in UK customs territory. This means there would have to be some sort of checks on goods crossing the north/south border. The UK has produced a minimalist blueprint for how these might … [Read more...] about How far away are UK and EU from reaching a Brexit deal?