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This document is not a draft treaty, draft A50 settlement agreement(contract), or even another premature "future partnership" (trade) positioning paper. It is a Conservative Party "manifesto" (May's unfortunate term) addressed to party members. More important is explanatory information about customs controls that obviate any need for observing antiquated notions of literal, physical border patrol.
d. The UK and EU would work together on the phased introduction of Facilitated Customs Arrangement that would remove the need for customs checks and controls between the UK and EU as if a combined customs territory. The UK would apply the UK's tariffs and trad policy for goods intended for the UK, and EI's tariffs and trade policy for goods intended for the EU -- becoming operational in stages as both sides complete the necessary preparations. This would enable the UK to control its own tariffs for trade with the rest of the world and ensure business paid the right or no tariff - in the vast majority of cases upfront,and otherwise through a repayment mechanism.
To be charitable, this information does not endorse either "special" EU zoning for NI or dissolution of the UK union. (Nor smuggling --customs evasion-- which most certainly will occur as always.) It endorses port control of goods entering and exiting the both jurisdictions. That is not news or a fantastic breach of UK sovereignty. May acknowledges application to "world" trade customs surveillance and tariff collections.
Buy or Build 'Hi-Tech'
The equipment already exists. Manufacturers already apply RFID, UPC, and EAN scannable ID to variable weight merchandise and livestock. Use of this technology is ubiquitous. Objection to merging commercial and public data sets in order to utilize this technology at ports --whether perfected or not at launch-- is bogus. EU has indicated, comically, it doesn't care as long as UK commits to the A50 agreement.
In Either Case
This document conveys no legal effect on the EU gov. Let's not dramatise--as British and Irish press do-- that it does or that its content is comparable to negotiable terms of any A50 conclusory agreement or that is represents a counter offer.
The conclusion of this story is not complicated.
Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
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