Irish Times: “Frictionless border is a fallacy”
In a hard-hitting opinion piece, Irish Times Economic Editor Cliff Taylor attacks the notion that there can be a ‘frictionless border’ if the UK pulls out of the customs union.
“It really is time to nail the fallacy of the frictionless Border. Senior figures in the British government – and in the DUP – have been trying to face both directions at once.”
For all the talk of electronic solutions, borders are never truly frictionless no matter what is done to reduce intrusion for the 177,000 lorries and more than 200,000 vans which cross each month, he writes.
“There seems to be only one way to solve the riddle of of having no Border on the island, if Britain does leave the customs union … It would be for some kind of special exemption or status to be given to the North, effectively allowing it to remain in the customs union.”
Such a sensible solution would, of course, simply move the EU’s external border back to Stranraer, and to Heathrow where northern MPs land on their way to sit in Parliament. That, he concludes, would be unacceptable to the DUP.