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Borders: Northern Ireland

Department for Exiting the European Union written question – answered on 23rd January 2020.

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Photo of Ruth Jones Ruth Jones Labour, Newport West

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, whether there will be checks and controls for (a) people and (b) goods entering the island of Ireland from Great Britain after the UK leaves the EU.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

Regarding the movement of people, the UK and Irish governments have made firm commitments to protect Common Travel Area arrangements, including the associated rights of British and Irish citizens in each other's state. Article 3 of the revised Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland allows the UK and Ireland to continue these arrangements after EU Exit.

Northern Ireland remains part of the UK’s single customs territory.The Prime Minister has been clear that, beyond the limited changes introduced by the Northern Ireland Protocol, there will be no changes to GB-NI trade in goods.

Under the terms of the Protocol no tariffs will be paid on goods moving within the United Kingdom unless they are destined to enter the EU via the Republic of Ireland.

Once we leave the EU, the UK will cease to be a Member State. Movements of goods from Great Britain to the Republic of Ireland will be subject to the arrangements concluded by the UK and the EU as part of the future relationship. We are aiming for an ambitious agreement with the EU with zero tariffs and quotas which could, depending on what is agreed, replace the Protocol.

In the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration, both sides have committed to use their best endeavours to negotiate that agreement by the end of this year.

Most importantly, the special arrangements provided for in the Protocol are subject to the democratic consent of the people of Northern Ireland, ensuring that if they find the arrangements of the Protocol unsatisfactory for any reason they have the choice to bring those arrangements to an end.

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