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Irish checks WILL be needed, it's claimed

Stena and P&O sail via Cairnryan

THE Government has conceded there will be post-Brexit checks on goods crossing the North Channel, the Guardian newspaper is reporting. The claim comes months after Boris Johnson insisted there would be no such barriers and after suggestions any checks might be carried out at ports this side of the water, such as Cairnryan. The Guardian says that In a letter to the executive office in Stormont, the Government confirmed there would be border control posts in three port – Belfast, Larne and Warrenpoint. This issue is controversial as there are claims the Good Friday Agreement precludes the return of a 'hard border' between Northern Ireland – part of the UK – and the Republic of Ireland, which remains part of the EU. There are also claims it could affect cross-Channel trade, with red tape making business more expensive. The Free Press revealed in April last year that should checks at Belfast and Larne slow traffic out of Cairnryan, Stranraer's East Pier has been earmarked as a holding park/overflow area for lorries and drivers. That too is controversial. While some welcome the potential boost for trade if hundreds of drivers have to be accommodated, others warn it could damage the town's tourist appeal and affect plans to make the waterfront the centre of regeneration. A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “We have always been clear that there will be requirements for live animals and agri-food, building on what already happens at ports like Larne and Belfast. “We want to work with NI businesses and the executive to ensure new admin procedures are streamlined and efficient. The protocol puts legal obligations on both sides. We are committed to complying with ours, just as we expect the EU to comply with theirs.”

<< back Published: 14 May 2020, 10:54