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Beyond the backstop: One step forward..one step… June 24, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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News this morning of a report proposing a range of measures that would provide ‘an alternative to the backstop… feasible in three years’.

Reported in the Guardian…

The interim report by a non-government organisation calling itself the Alternative Arrangements Commission will be unveiled at a special conference on the Irish border in London on Monday.

Their conclusions suggest that the UK would only need the Irish border backstop contained in the withdrawal agreement until 2022, if work on such arrangements started today.

Before one mocks there are elements that would provide some mitigation of Brexit. But the problems remain significant. For example:

The report addresses key issues including the vexed question of health checks on any live animals, animal or plant produce crossing the border, including milk, pigs and sheep.

The report says “sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS)” tests could be carried out by mobile units away from the border.

This would require politicians in the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) to accept checks on farms and in food-production plants and related facilities, something they have opposed so far.

Or:

Among the other recommendations are the creation of a multi-tier trusted trader programme for large and small companies, with exemptions for small companies.

This was proposed by the government in August 2017 and dismissed by the EU.

And as per usual in these contributions a lack of acknowledgement that the ROI is not going to open to bilateral arrangements that would cut across its EU membership. Still, at least it represents an effort that goes beyond the usual ‘problem, what problem?’ stuff coming out of the UK. But still limited.

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