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Probably the most likely scenario, although other options are not closed off yet.

If EU Customs controls are essentially at Irish air and sea port some checks on Irish goods will be needed to ensure they do originate in Ireland rather than the UK. This will be a pain in the neck for bona fide Irish exporters but perhaps not the end of the world if it is seen as a temporary expedient.

However that would mean Ireland is effectively outside the Customs Union, not the EU itself. CAP payments would be unaffected as would travel and all other arrangements for political and economic cooperation.

I could also see a scenario where cameras capture the number plates of all Trucks leaving Belfast and Larne ports. "Random checkpoints" would then stop those vehicles to ascertain whether their cargoes had been duly declared and cleared for export to the EU.

Most GB Ireland trade is via Dublin in any case. Much cross-border trade is by large companies such as Guinness, Bushmills, Glanbia, Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Musgraves, CRH and Kingspan which could be policed by on-site customs inspectors (already happens in Guinness) with any duties payable in the same way as VAT.

The remaining trade by private individuals, sole traders, and small businesses would be so small as to be immaterial in EU Single Market terms and could be regarded as a second or third order problem to be dealt with at a later stage if no agreement with the UK on customs checks in Belfast, Larne etc. is reached at a later stage.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 26th, 2019 at 05:24:07 PM EST
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