Confirmed: No hard border in Ireland after Brexit.

The Brexit negotiations rumble on but there is an glimmer of good news for ecommerce merchants. The EU and the British government have agreed that there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

As part of an agreement with the EU, the British government has said that the Irish border with the UK will remain open and not be subject to border controls or tariffs.

It’s not entirely clear whether this means that the whole UK will essentially remain a part of the single market or the customs union, or whether it means that Northern Ireland will have a special status. But either way it confirms that Northern Ireland could remain an important place for ecommerce. It will be the gateway to the EU and easily accessible by merchants.

So what could that mean in a practical basis? It makes it possible for a business to be in Britain, based in Northern Ireland, and yet also be able to ship and fulfil easily within the EU. Being located close to the border would give a business a strategic advantage and the best of both worlds.

This is a really important development that gives greater clarity on the eventual nature of Brexit and what the UK’s relationship with the EU will look like. Would you move your business to Northern Ireland if it made it easier to trade with customers within the EU after Brexit?

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Comments

1, It all depends on the trade deal struck. It may be that a good deal means there is no need for a border, or that only certain items will need looking at and it could be done via various means. ( This already happens on some EU - Non EU borders). 2, If NI is given a special arrangement then Wales and Scotland will want one as well as 'old whino' in London! This will cause a nightmare situation and simply won't happen. 3, I don't think there is any chance that the whole fo the UK will stay in the customs union as that will prevent us from doing our own deals globally and put us in a worse place than had we stayed. Plus the public that want to leave, and proberly quite a few that wanted to stay, would never trust the government ever again and that would be complete suicide for the Tories. Que national unrest! Basically it has been done before with other trade deals in the EU, they just have to get creative, realistic and work together. Ahhh, i see the issue!

Toby • 11th December 2017 •

Confirmed? Two mutually exclusive deals/choices? No hard border + no red line down the Irish Sea AND mainland UK still not in the EU customs union?

Bernard McNamee • 11th December 2017 •

if trading with the EU were of such importance , rather than move west to Ireland we would move east to europe and cut out the middleman

northumbrian • 11th December 2017 •