Following many weeks of uncertainty, about how members could comply with the requirement to meet the custom controls for exporting products to Northern Ireland from 1st January 2021, we may now have an answer.
Under the Northern Ireland Protocol this would have required a full and comprehensive customs declaration across a wide range of products as the province remained part of the EU. We received the news on Wednesday that the Government have now agreed a deal with the EU.
As yet, we have no new detail, so we do not know if this is a temporary change or a permanent one. Also, we await details on what this means and how much of the process detailed under the Northern Ireland Protocol will change.
We are still concerned about the capability of the supply chain of stock that used to move into the province routed through Dublin now switched to Belfast ports in Northern Ireland.
The same is true for traffic movements back into the UK with Diane Dodds, Economy Minister, writing to Michael Gove highlighting 80,000 HGVs per year coming from the Northern route through Dublin port to the UK.