Whisky Scotched?

Oh dear! The Guardian

reports that “The Trump administration has imposed 25% tariffs on scotch whisky and hundreds of other European agricultural products as well as 10% on aircraft in a significant widening of its trade dispute with the EU.

The tariffs could come into effect as early as 18 October and are worth a total of $7.5bn. The list of goods also includes British knitwear, French cheese and wine [“Sacre Bleu, ou Merde a Dieu!”], Spanish olives, and industrial products such as microwaves and camera parts. The US move, which followed a WTO ruling that the EU had given aerospace company Airbus unfair subsidies, spooked investors in Asia where shares fell sharply, compounding losses in the US and Europe yesterday”.

Elsewhere, we read in the BoJo letter to “Dear Jean-Claude”

that “Fifth, and finally, under these arrangements Northern Ireland will be fully part of the UK customs territory, not the EU Customs Union, after the end of the transition period. It has always been a fundamental point for this Government that the UK will leave the EU customs union at the end of the transition period. We must do so whole and entire. Control of trade policy is fundamental to our future vision.

“This is entirely compatible with maintaining an open border in Northern Ireland. Goods trade between Northern Ireland and Ireland makes up a little over one per cent of UK-EU total trade in goods. It is entirely reasonable to manage this border in a different way. Any risks arising will be manageable in both the EU single market and the UK market, particularly as all third country imports will continue to be controlled by the EU and UK customs authorities.

“We are proposing that all customs processes needed to ensure compliance with the UK and EU customs regimes should take place on a decentralised basis, with paperwork conducted electronically as goods move between the two countries, and with the very small number of physical checks needed conducted at traders’ premises or other points on the supply chain. To enable this, we should both put in place specific, workable improvements and simplifications to existing customs rules between now and the end of the transition period, in the spirit of finding flexible and creative solutions to these particular circumstances. These arrangements can be underpinned by close cooperation between UK and Irish authorities. All this must be coupled with a firm commitment (by both parties) never to conduct checks at the border in future”.

As the DUP puts it “”Most of our goods are sold to Great Britain, there’s no customs checks, that’s the reason why we want to see Northern Ireland stay in a UK customs arrangement”…Chief Whip Jeffery Donaldson.  

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