Leaked British proposals on the Border ‘utterly unworkable’

Non-paper on customs posts relies ‘on technology that does not yet exist’ Keir Starmer says


Leaked British proposals to establish customs posts on both sides of the Border after Brexit have been described by opposition in the UK as “utterly unworkable”.

“If Boris Johnson had spent any time listening to businesses and communities in Northern Ireland, he would know that these proposals are utterly unworkable” Shadow secretary of state for Brexit Keir Starmer tweeted , linking to a story by RTÉ.

The proposals contained in papers tabled in talks with EU negotiators and reported on Monday night.

RTÉ reported that the British ideas were contained in “non-papers” — documents tabled for discussion purposes — submitted to the EU in recent weeks, and would see a string of “customs clearance sites” established on both sides of the border to manage the flow of goods between North and South.

It reported that these centres would be 8km to 16km back from the Border.

“They would place an enormous administrative burden on businesses and rely on technology that does not yet exist,” Mr Starmer tweeted.

“If accurate, these proposals represent yet another failure of the Government’s negotiating strategy. The Prime Minister should admit he has no credible plan for Brexit and that the only way to resolve this issue is to go back to the people with a public vote,” he said.

“Crucially, if true, they represent a rowing back on the commitments made to the people of Northern Ireland two years ago that there would be no return to a hard border or related checks or controls.”

Earlier, a British government source said new proposals would be handed over to EU negotiators on Wednesday or Thursday.