United Kingdom no-deal Brexit tariffs a ‘potential disaster’ for Irish farming

Cars being imported into UK

The Irish government's no-deal contingency document, published last month, refrained from stating what might happen at the border in a no-deal scenario.

But tariffs would be imposed on some imports from the EU. However, there would be no checks between Northern Ireland and Britain.

The Irish PM said the most pressing issue facing his country was how to settle questions about the future of the border between Ireland, an European Union member, and Northern Ireland, which won't be.

But the plan would only be temporary and would exclude a selection of sensitive imports, including some agricultural products such as beef, lamb, pork and some dairy, as well as auto imports and some other products.

It comes after Prime Minister Theresa May's amended Withdrawal Agreement was defeated in a second vote in the House of Commons on Tuesday evening.

Britain will not introduce any new checks or tariffs on goods moving across the land border into Northern Ireland in the event of no deal Brexit - but critics warn it could become a smugglers' route into the UK.

"Our priority is securing a deal with the European Union as this will avoid disruption to our global trading relationships".

However it is understood that the Department for International Trade's policy on the exact same issue is that diverting through Northern Ireland exclusively to avoid tariffs would be unlawful - although goods are not going to be subject to checks anyway.

Zero tariffs would be applied to items such as footwear, aluminium and steel, machinery, paper and wood products, and weapons and ammunition.

Tonight MPs will vote on whether to go for a No Deal Brexit.

Small businesses trading across the border will be able to report Value-Added Tax online without any new processes at the border.

Businesses in the Republic will be able to sell goods tariff-free into Northern Ireland but the same will not apply to goods going the other way.

Goods crossing the border from Ireland into Northern Ireland would not be covered by the new import tariff regime.

Meanwhile, the Ulster Farmer's Union suggested that the plans announced on Wednesday would be equally damaging for Northern Irish farmers. The government is committed to entering into discussions with the European Commission and the Irish Government as a matter of urgency.

'But we will do all we can to support people and businesses across Northern Ireland in the event that we leave without a deal.

"This regime is only temporary as we recognise that there are challenges associated with this approach, including the unmonitored flow of goods into the United Kingdom and the potential for exploitation of any new system", the government said in a statement".

The decision to refrain from checks at the Irish border would be temporary while longer term solutions were negotiated.

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