- Oct 7, 2011
What I am afraid of with the British proposals is that they would not care about a leaky border. They would simply fall back on the Irish Sea if it resulted in large amounts of EU goods entering the UK with no tariffs paid. If the flow began to go in the other direction I would be afraid that the south would come under pressure from the rest of the EU to allow checks on exports from here in order to stem the flow of British goods evading tariffs by getting through the leaky border. We could not have that. We and the EU in general would have to control the border in order to avoid it. The Belgian proposal to have EU officials operating across the whole island addressed this problem perhaps and had the advantage of not having physical infrastructure at the border but instead spreading the pain across the whole island. It's maybe a least worst solution.The UK never used the BA to enforce Customs controls on the Border and under the GFA they cannot deploy the BA for anything other than normal duties.
2. The British Government will make progress towards the objective of asearly a return as possible to normal security arrangements in NorthernIreland, consistent with the level of threat and with a published overallstrategy, dealing with: (i) the reduction of the numbers and role of the Armed Forces deployedin Northern Ireland to levels compatible with a normal peaceful society; (ii) the removal of security installations; (iii) the removal of emergency powers in Northern Ireland; and (iv) other measures appropriate to and compatible with a normalpeaceful society.
The PSNI dont have the numbers to protect a hard Border and never did. it would cost tens of millions. In the 70s and 80s the RUC was double the current strength of the PSNI and they could not secure the Border then, even supported by the BA. Further they say they WILL NOT protect a hard Border, because it would split police loyalties, being perceived as discriminatory to one sector of the community.
So-called smart borders which rely on electronic pre-clearance have manned customs stations, barriers, CCTV and number plate recognition systems. This is because people and goods carry different risks and are separated into two different flows. There is no smart border without physical infrastructure and guards anywhere.
If an invisible tech border was possible there would be one already somewhere in Europe. Anyone with a shred of IT knowledge knows you cannot get one up and running in 12 months, so it is good to go on Brexit Day. Norway and Sweden took 15 years to implement their system and they still rely on physical barriers. Its all a total nonsense.