It has been reported that the British Prime Minister Theresa May is considering new proposals for the European Union regarding arrangements related to the land border between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland as Brexit negotiations continue.
Reports say that under the new British plan, which has yet to be officially announced and could likely change, that the UK would maintain goods regulations in Northern Ireland almost identical to the EU rules that exist in the Republic of Ireland. There would be new regulatory checks on goods passing between Northern Ireland and the British mainland, where different rules could apply once the country is outside the EU.
Obviously, as it stands, no deal has been struck and the border arrangements regarding the UK and EU’s major land border but there certainly is a possibility that Northern Ireland will essentially achieve a unique status within the UK.
For Northern Ireland, despite objections from leading politicians, specifically from the DUP, is that there is a huge possible commercial opportunity to be embraced. If it were to remain a part of the UK with a special status with relation to the Republic of Ireland then it could possibly become a place where ecommerce and marketplace businesses would be wise to be located in.
Assuming that goods within the UK could move freely between the mainland and the province and, possibly, some sort of free movement of goods persisted between the six counties and the Republic, then it would be a clever place to locate an ecommerce business that sells into the European Union. It would be an obvious place in the UK to locate an exporting business and that would bring considerable economic and employment benefits to the area.
And equally, a hard border on the island would also represent a literal barrier to trade and most probably bring with it delays and additional paperwork for marketplace sellers trading between the two countries. There is considerable online trade between the UK and Ireland and anything which dents that would be hard to swallow and that’s why a sensible arrangement that provides as porous a border as possible is desirable.