Newton Emerson: EU attitude to goods checks in North is unhelpful

Is bureaucratic intransigence behind Brussels’s quest for border enforcement?

As the deadline loomed, sources in Brussels were reported saying the people of Northern Ireland would hardly starve and supermarkets should simply switch to EU suppliers.

As the deadline loomed, sources in Brussels were reported saying the people of Northern Ireland would hardly starve and supermarkets should simply switch to EU suppliers.

The 12-month Brexit grace period on moving medicine from Britain into Northern Ireland runs out on December 31st this year. The following day, all licensed medicine – from National Health Service supplies to over-the-counter products – will be treated as imports into the EU and require full EU authorisation, testing and labelling in addition to standard customs and safety inspections.

If everything has not been worked out or smoothed over by December 31st, supplies to Northern Ireland must be blocked by British authorities. Medicine should be stopped in the first instance by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency or intercepted in transit by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

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