United Kingdom plans to allow visa-free travel for European Union visitors

19 August, 2017, 08:06 | Author: Valerie Burke
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Indeed, after all the talk about using technology and CCTV cameras to keep track of vehicles and goods, the British position paper has opted for an approach that is effectively no change to the current arrangements.

Instead, the European Union made a decision to accept the U.K.'s request to delay the start of the next round of Brexit negotiations to enable British officials-98 of which attended the Brussels talks in July-to put their feet up on Britain's August 28 "summer bank holiday", according to two people familiar with the plans.

He said: "I am happy to continue to give those people - Irish Citizens among them - a voice alongside citizens of this State".

The government has proposed that there should be no "physical" border in Ireland such as customs posts.

The Sinn Fein party, which wants a referendum on ending British rule in Northern Ireland and uniting the island under the Irish flag, said it doubted an open border could be delivered.

For Northern Ireland and the Republic, the imposition of any form of border controls or checkpoints would be disastrous, impacting on the free movement of people and goods with the probability of far-reaching political and security repercussions.

"That's not just in the interests of Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom, it's in the interests of the Republic of Ireland and the European Union too".

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"If you don't have any of these checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland - the UK-EU border - and you don't have any between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, well then, where do you check immigration?"

Meanwhile in Belfast, Arlene Foster, the Democratic Unionist leader, described the paper as a "constructive step", welcoming the Government's commitment to a seamless border and its rejection of the idea of having a new border in the Irish Sea.

Instead, it recommended wide-ranging tariff exemptions for small- and medium-sized businesses trading over the border and suggested that larger companies could report imports and exports online.

"We will be realistic and fair but also stubborn in relation to defending Irish interests", Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told reporters in Dublin on Wednesday.

Britain's membership in the EU customs union, which now allows for the tariff-free movement of goods, will end along with its membership of the single market when it exits the bloc in March 2019. "That the Government would willingly allow European Union nationals to freely move into United Kingdom territory is of concern", he said.

The document is the second in a series of position papers being released by the Government ahead of a new round of Brexit talks with Brussels next week. The Home Office said plans have yet to be finalized and will be published "within weeks".

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