BRUSSELS has indicated it is ready to slash customs checks on goods crossing the Irish Sea in a bid to break the deadlock in Brexit talks with Britain. Story by the Express
EU Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic has suggested the number of checks taking place on goods crossing from the mainland to Northern Ireland could be reduced to just a few lorries a day. He made the offer in the hope of ending the frictions between the UK and the bloc now that Liz Truss was Prime Minister.
Mr Sefcovic said under his proposals the trade border that has effectively been imposed down the Irish Sea would be “invisible”.
Checks could be abandoned on almost all vehicles crossing the Irish Sea if the UK gives EU officials real-time data on trade movements.
The senior eurocrat added there was very little difference between what Westminster was demanding and what the EU was now offering.
Physical checks would only be made when there is reasonable suspicion of illegal trade smuggling, illegal drugs, dangerous toys or poisoned food, he vowed.
“If the data are downloaded into the system, when the goods are put on the ferry from Britain… I believe that we can remotely process them while sailing to Northern Ireland,” Mr Sefcovic told the Financial Times.
“It could be resolved very, very quickly if we get the input from our UK counterparts.”
It is understood the UK already has close to real time tracking systems ready to go.
While the EU’s proposal falls short of the UK’s demands to remove the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice as the ultimate arbitrator on disputes, it may provide the breakthrough needed for a deal to be done. Continue reading the full story: Brexit row breakthrough as EU finally signals it is ready to cave to Liz Truss’s demands