Brexit Bites, 14 May 2018

May 14, 2018

The past week has seen further attempts by the UK to agree on what form of customs arrangement should exist between the UK and EU after Brexit.  The Irish government has said that it will be flexible regarding possible solutions but has called for fresh ideas from the UK government.  Also next in our series of getting Back to Brexit Basics, we look at what ‘equivalence’ might mean for the UK financial services industry.

Flexible solutions are welcome

Tánaiste Simon Coveney has said that the Irish Government will be flexible when it comes to solutions proposed to solve the border conundrum but urged the UK to come up with some fresh ideas.

Mr Coveney said he didn’t believe the solution could be found by relying on technology only and said that some shared customs arrangements could form part of the solution to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

EU Chief negotiator Michel Barnier is expected to give an update to the EU Foreign and European Ministers in Brussels today on the progress made in the Brexit talks.  One item on the agenda is reported to be the lack of progress on solving the Irish border problem.

Over in the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to reach agreement with cabinet members over what type of customs arrangements the UK will have with the EU after Brexit.  Theresa May wants a form of customs partnership but this has not been palatable with pro-Brexit ministers. Instead they want technology and exemptions to maintain a frictionless border on the island of Ireland.  The EU have all but ruled out this option in its current form.