In what is seen as a controversial move by many, Boris Johnson is planning to change the legislation that could override parts of last years EU withdrawal agreement, at least if a free trade agreement cannot be reached in time. Time is running out on the EU and the UK doing a deal with the 15th October looking to be the cut off point where the two go their separate ways.
A Hard Border Would Be Problematic To Say The Least
The worry is that this new legislation could change the nature of new Northern Ireland customs arrangements intended to prevent a return to checks at the border with the Irish Republic. Any sort of hard border would be very problematic to say the least for trade between the two areas.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is quoted as saying in an article on the BBC News website that: “If we can’t agree by then, (October 15th) then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on,”
The above article on BBC News goes on to say that:
—“the government will publish its Internal Market Bill – designed to protect trade arrangements between the four parts of the UK – on Wednesday.
Could Contradict The Northern Ireland Protocol
“This could contradict the Northern Ireland Protocol, set up to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, which many fear could be detrimental to peace.
“The protocol says Northern Ireland will follow some EU customs rules – meaning customs declarations for goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, as well as some new checks on goods going from Great Britain into Northern Ireland – after the transition period.
“The Financial Times said the bill would “eliminate” the legal force of the Withdrawal Agreement, struck less than a year ago between the UK and EU, in areas including state aid and Northern Ireland customs.
“BBC political correspondent Chris Mason described the proposed bill as an “electrifying development in the Brexit process”.”
The Withdrawal Bill May Be Ripped Up
So in effect what the processes will be for Northern Ireland receiving and sending goods out to the UK and the Republic of Ireland is anyone`s guess right now. The withdrawal bill with regard to this may be ripped up and other legislation be introduced.
The best case scenario is that a deal is reached with the EU and there will be easy movement between countries but whether this is no likely is very much up for debate.
Businesses in Northern Ireland cannot second guess what is going to happen but they can plan for the future and be ready for whatever comes to pass as best they can. If you have a business and you need a hand from a reputable accountancy firm to plan your immediate and ongoing business strategy then give WHR Accountants a call at the earliest opportunity on 028 3752 2909.