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Business: Northern Ireland

Treasury written question – answered on 29th June 2020.

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Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether HMRC has provided advice to businesses in Northern Ireland on the additional processes that will be required for trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain once the Northern Ireland Protocol comes into force.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The Northern Ireland Protocol is clear that Northern Ireland is, and will remain, part of the UK’s customs territory. The Protocol allows the UK to maintain unfettered market access for goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, as is the case today. The Government has also set out that although there will be some limited additional processes for goods arriving in Northern Ireland, there will be no new physical customs infrastructure.

It is important that businesses understand how the Protocol will be implemented so they can make the necessary preparations for the end of the Transition Period. For that reason, the Government published a command paper on 20 May setting out the UK’s approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol. Ministers and officials meet Northern Ireland businesses regularly to provide clarity on approach and to allow for detailed discussion of proposals. HMRC are also engaging with industry partners who need to put systems in place for customs processes and will be extending that engagement in the coming weeks to businesses across the UK affected by the Northern Ireland Protocol to support them in getting ready.

HMRC have published a questionnaire on GOV.UK to identify and aid businesses who move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In due course, the Government will also set out more detailed plans for extensive HMRC support for businesses engaged in the limited additional processes, including providing access to facilitations to support the movement of goods.

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