The EU has released its plan to help fix the ongoing issues surrounding UK and NI trade in the wake of Brexit.
Whilst Northern Ireland has been kept within the EU’s single market to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland, checks and controls have been in place for goods arriving from Great Britain.
The new plan proposed by the EU would remove around 80% of checks and cut paperwork in half.
The BBC reports that the EU is proposing:
- Most food products will not need to be physically checked when arriving into Northern Ireland from Great Britain.
- A cut to the required administration for Northern Ireland importers.
- Expanded trusted trader arrangements meaning more products and companies are exempt from customs tariffs.
- Change to current laws to ensure no disruption to moving medicines across the Irish Sea.
- Improved engagement with stakeholders in Northern Ireland including politicians and business groups.
The Northern Ireland Protocol was only introduced at the start of 2021, designed predominantly to prevent checks and the creation of a virtual border on the island of Ireland. But this has, in turn, created a trade barrier with Great Britain.
However, businesses on both sides have warned of ongoing issues, whilst there have also been serious concerns that the current set-up undermines the Good Friday Agreement.
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