Brexit and Northern Ireland

Soon Ireland will be part of the EU and its biggest trading partner, the UK, won’t.

That’s already bad but it  could be that we will now see a new customs and passport post on the Derry Road.

That would mean that people would be stopped and asked to show their passports and asked if they have any goods to declare.

People Say It Won’t Happen

I have already heard people saying that this won’t happen as you were always able to cross the border freely, except for the occasional stop by the British Army during the time of the Troubles.

However, when they say that, I don’t think they have thought this through.

The reason why there was an open border was because of a free trade agreement between Britain and Ireland.

Ireland was able to put together its own trade agreement in those days.

These days Ireland can’t.

EU Wide Trade Deals

Ireland isn’t allowed to negotiate trade agreements any more by itself with any country – including Britain.

All trade agreements with countries outside the EU are negotiated by the EU and not by individual countries within the EU.

The only way the old agreement could be resurrected would be if the whole of the EU was to agree an open border and free trade area between Britain and all the members of the EU.

That would mean Britain still being part of a free trade area even though they have left the EU.

It doesn’t seem likely that the EU will grant Brittain this after they decided to leave.

Immigration and Border Control

The main reason that Britain is leaving the EU is because of immigration. They say they want to take control of their own borders and monitor everyone coming in.

They can’t do that if there is an open border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Anyone from Poland, or another Eastern European country, who wanted to come to the EU could simply fly to Dublin, drive north and then take the boat over to Britain.

If they keep the border open between Ireland and the North, Britain would not be able to control its borders and who gets in – and that is a central plank of why they left the EU.

So, unless the EU allows Ireland a special privilege that other EU countries can’t have (not likely), then it looks likely that they will have to institute a passport control on the Derry Road which people would have to go through each time they go to Derry to shop or to go to the cinema.

Tariffs on Shopping Goods

What would be the point of having tariffs between the EU and UK, when someone who wanted to import into the UK from the EU would simply send it to Dublin, move it north and ship it across the Irish Sea free of tariffs.

That means they will have to have a customs post too.

It would mean that they would have to go through all the shopping that you just bought in Derry to see which items should have tariffs paid on them.

Foyle Ferry Passport Control

What about the new Foyle Ferry which is starting up?

If they wanted to control their borders there would have to be passport control and a customs post at Magilligan.

How busy would it be then.

It wouldn’t be a quick way to get to Belfast Airport then if you had to queue at Passport Control and the Customs Post.

The Ferry wouldn’t last long after the UK left the EU if that was the case.

The Brexit could mean a huge difference to the people living here.

It could also make it far more difficult for our many visitors from the UK to come here.