As news breaks that “Boris Johnson spoke to the German chancellor earlier about the proposals he put forward to the EU, but the No 10 source said Frau Merkel made clear a deal based on them was “overwhelmingly unlikely”. No surprise there then! We wonder if they discussed the state of the German economy including its car industry?
They also claimed she said a deal would never be possible unless Northern Ireland stayed in a customs union.
Meanwhile, we refer back to the Irish Govt customs bosses ‘no border infrastructure needed’ report yesterday. The devastating testimonies that prove the Irish Government and EU are playing politics with Brexit.
Why won’t the Irish Government and EU listen to its own experts?
On Cross-Border Trade In Agricultural Products And Animals, Mr Niall Cody (Irish Customs): “Food integrity is clearly a major challenge, and the agrifood sector will need careful handling. It is primarily one of the areas that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will lead on. There is an integrated nature to the supply chain of the agrifood sector, which is probably the biggest sectoral challenge. It is interesting in the context of the task force as this issue is primarily driven by environmental health, so DG SANTE leads in that regard, and we are kind of subcontractors after the event. Nobody underestimates the challenge that Brexit brings but we will be starting from a position of an equivalence of standards. As Mr. Keegan argues, when somebody leaves the club, equivalence changes over time. That is an asset challenge but we will be a support to agriculture in that area.”
On Irish Goods Transiting Through The UK
Q: “Let me give an example of a haulier who has a truck going to France via the Border. Mr. Cody has outlined the role of Revenue at the Border. What will happen when this truck crosses into Northern Ireland, travels to England and crosses to France? Could Mr. Cody say how many checks a truck would have to undergo on that journey?”
Mr. Niall Cody “It would depend on whether the United Kingdom is part of the common transit arrangement. If it were part of the common transit area, there is a facility whereby a truck leaving Dublin can go under the transit arrangement to its final destination in France”.
Q: “Would it have been checked once?”
Mr. Niall Cody “It would probably not have been checked at all.”
Q: “Is that a possibility?”
Mr. Niall Cody “Yes. However, if the United Kingdom transit arrangements do not work, for whatever reason—–”
Q: “Is it not in the interests of the United Kingdom to have a transit arrangement in view of the fact that some of the trucks from the North come to Dublin or trucks coming into Wexford travel to the North?” Mr. Niall Cody “It is absolutely in the interests of the United Kingdom to have transit arrangements. We imagine the UK will have such arrangements, but one cannot guess.”
And here is what the UK Customs boss said
“There are no formal conversations with either the French or the Irish. We cannot talk to Customs or taxation management organisations in either of those countries”. Sir Jon Thompson
Chief Executive of HM Revenue and Customs, giving evidence to the Exiting the European Union Committee, 29 Nov 2017. Sir Jon went on to say that discussions with the Irish Revenue had started, but were halted, and not by the British.
“Two years ago Michel Barnier was caught on a hidden camera in a meeting with Guy Verhofstadt, the EU Parliament’s Brexit Co-ordinator, discussing the use of Ireland. And here is what Barnier said “For me there is also a strategic and tactical reason, which is using Ireland for future negotiations. Isolating Ireland and not closing this point, leaving it open for the next two or three years.” Michel Barnier, Chief EU Negotiator, caught on camera by BBC4 documentary.
“If the EU and the Irish Government had been remotely interested in preserving the Good Friday Agreement and peace in Northern Ireland, what would have been more logical than for the civil servants responsible for each side of the border to discuss new arrangements? Instead, the Irish side has been banned from doing so for the last three years. This was a deliberate act.
“A quick solution to altered arrangements for the NI border, sorted out by those who know the most about it, the Customs teams on each side, was not in the EU’s interests. The EU wished to use the border as one of their three pre-emptive issues to prevent trade being talked about and to keep the UK in the Single Market and Customs Union. In this, they have succeeded to this day”.
And what of the Irish politicians involved in this?
“The EU had a willing partner in this subterfuge in the form of the fiercely nationalist Irish government of Messrs Varadkar and Coveney. Despite a ‘no deal’ Brexit being catastrophic for the Irish economy, it is our opinion that they put their own political considerations above the interests of their own people, and effectively weaponised this issue. In so doing, they have been played by Brussels. It remains to be seen if the Irish people will ever forgive them”.