Category Archives: Irish Border

Brexit: Endgame

As I write this there are fewer than 40 working days until the UK is scheduled to crash out of the EU; and the House of Commons has fewer than 32 days to meet and agree on the next steps.

It has been a long time since my previous blog post; mainly because – well: life – but also an overwhelming frustration with the state of politics in the UK and around the world and the sense of an inevitability about how this whole debacle will unfold.

Continue reading

Trouble Brewing for Guinness

The Irish border poses one of the biggest challenges for Theresa May’s government in achieving the EU exit that she has set out. Leaving the customs union – a requirement if the UK is to be free to negotiate its own trade deals – almost certainly would introduce the requirement for a customs border between the Ireland and the UK.

This poses a big problem for Northern Ireland, and for businesses in both countries that operate across the border. A well known example is the drink synonymous with Ireland, brewed at St James’ Gate in Dublin, which is driven to Belfast for canning, and then driven back to Dublin for onward distribution. A customs border, even if tariff free, would potentially add delays and certainly would add administrative costs to this constant cross border model. The brewery would presumably need to either source a different canning partner within Ireland, at a cost of jobs in Belfast, or risk losing market share as the additional overheads are priced into the drink, making it less competitive.

Continue reading