Hookem: Border solutions exist, get on with it

Breaking News


Commenting from Brussels on the Northern Ireland ‘Border Issue’ and the solutions, UKIP Deputy Leader Mike Hookem MEP said:

“When we leave the EU, we need a mature approach to customs and security; unlike what we've witnessed so far from Varadkar, Barnier and their colleagues.

“Key to this is Northern Ireland’s reliance on the internal UK market - where trade to mainland Britain is much greater than trade to the EU, including the Irish Republic.”

60.3%  or £13.8bn of Northern Irish sales are directly to the rest of the United Kingdom: That’s more than four times as much as sales to the Republic.  

“Those calling for a separate customs arrangement aren’t only calling for the integrity of the internal UK market to be called into question; they’re prioritising 23% of Northern Irish trade with the EU over 77% of trade with mainland Britain and the rest of the world.”


In terms of solutions to this matter, Mr Hookem added:

“Smart checking options are practical for trading -  while ensuring the integrity of the UK internal market. This enhances security with minimal fuss and with no new infrastructure.  Similar solutions have been introduced elsewhere. Examples can be found at the Norway / Sweden border and the Canada / United States border where low-friction options have been implemented through trusted-trader schemes and data sharing.”   

“Another example is the Swiss-EU border where 23,000 trucks manage to cross every day without issues. The Swiss system allows for customs clearance at offices throughout the country, remote from border crossings. This was documented by Michael Ambuhl, the former Chief Swiss negotiator with the EU.”

'Technologies such as number plate recognition, enhanced drivers licenses and the use of apps can have a significant impact by reducing paperwork and allowing pre- or on-arrival release.’


Commenting further, Mr Hookem said:

“This isn’t from a Brexit think-tank or leave voting politician. It’s from a report published by the EU itself. Crucially - to the annoyance of those using the 'border issue' as a trojan-horse to wreck Brexit:  The report asserts  that these solutions are applicable whatever the outcome: Deal or no deal. It’s ridiculous that this issue has been used to halt Brexit when it’s clear that options are available.

“This model will work if we walk away - free to trade with the world under WTO rules.  It’s simply a matter of political will. The solutions exist. There is no need for a backstop. It’s disingenuous to use the border as a reason to block our exit on March 29th.”





European Parliament:  Smart Border 2.0: Avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland