The Guardian writes today about my SmartBorder 2.0 report and the proposed solutions for the post-Brexit borders situation. It is a Press Release from Ms. Diane Dodds MEP for DUP that refers to the SmartBorder 2.0 solution.

This is the article.

DUP has also issued a press notice to mark Brexit now being just one year away. Here is an extract from the statement from the DUP MEP Diane Dodds, who says “pragmatic solutions” to the Irish border problem do exist.

Ensuring a sensible Brexit for our province requires going beyond simply defending Northern Ireland’s current position. This means finding practical solutions to the emotive issue of the border, which has won many hearts but thus far very few open or practical minds. It is worth remembering that the Irish Republic inspects only 1% of goods reaching their shores from outside the EU – second only to Gambia in the fewest physical checks. Given the UK commitment to lift and shift EU rules into UK law it is hard to see how Brexit could therefore equate to the draconian type of border predicted in some quarters.

In practice it makes little sense for the Irish government to adopt a single-track focus of addressing the land border if far more significant economic frontiers at places like Holyhead and Dover are not resolved. An estimated two-thirds of Irish exports to the continent, including many perishable goods, move via the UK land-bridge. 39% of all Irish containers transit Northern Ireland. Drawing a border in the Irish Sea wouldn’t make their movement any easier. That is why we should look at the border issue in the context of the overall relationship. An ambitious free trade deal covering all goods and separate customs partnership can remove the vast majority of friction as a starting point – at every land, sea and air border crossing. In effect, the fewer trade barriers, the fewer the solutions required.

Pragmatic solutions do exist but they hold relevance beyond simply the Northern Ireland border. Respected international customs expert Lars Karlsson has given evidence in the European parliament and at Westminster. His message very clearly is that a ‘smart border’ concept involving digital technology, electronic declarations and trusted trader schemes can be implemented at every UK-EU border and would work under any political outcome.

Moving away from the notion of special treatment to smart solutions can help to make commitments to Northern Ireland operational in a way that respects both internal markets.

Source: The Guardian

Last Monday, the UK reached an agreement with the European Union on the legal terms of a Brexit transition deal – a milestone development in the difficult Brexit talks. But while it signifies political progress how will this affect you and your business? And what can you do about it today?

Under the terms, the UK will be able to negotiate trade deals with other countries during the 21-month transition, which begins when Britain officially leaves the EU at the end of March 2019. But in order to secure the deal and give a degree of certainty for businesses, the UK will have to accept a number of conditions, including a backstop for the Ireland-Northern Ireland border.

So what does this mean for businesses doing trade between the EU and the UK?

Well, we now know the deadline for Brexit preparations is 31/12 2020 – as long as all involved countries agree and the UK meets the requirements. From today, this is the time you have. Two years and nine months, 33 months, 144 weeks or less than 1000 days. However you look at it, that’s not a very long time to make all your preparations.

Two years and nine months, 33 months, 144 weeks or less than 1000 days.

So there is only one thing that you could and should do – start preparing now. Because being better prepared reduces the risk of future interference to your business while giving you a headstart on your competition.

Here are some things to think about and start preparing yourself:

• How will we handle potential new border formalities in both directions?

• Will Brexit border formalities impact our contracts or prices?

• Should we change our supply chain as a result of Brexit?

• Should we change supplier/distribution patterns as a result of Brexit?

• How should we organize the flow of goods from/to UK?

• How will our products or services be affected in relation to EU27 i.e. the other countries?

• Do we have the correct permits and licences for all our units?

• What are the post-Brexit risks for the UK and how will we handle them?

In addition, we also know that there will be a capacity problem – since there is a lack of competent resources in the trade and customs service provider sector to handle the new volumes, challenges and border procedures. So make sure you partner with your preferred service provider already today.

Speak to us at KGH if you want to discuss the consequences of Brexit in more detail, or if you are interested in getting a better understanding of your own situation e.g. the impact on trade flows, supply chain, operational model, costs, etc.

The Business Insider has made a number of syrveys on expectationa from UK Business (retailers) in relation to Brexit. This is what they found out:

This certainly confirm the view we hve from our interaction on multiple levels with companies from multinationals to SMEs shaping an important part of the supply and value chain.

The way to mitigate these concerns is for Government to present – as soon as possible – the technical solutions for borders and customs, and for the private sector to start preparing today. Businesses need to do the trade analysis, look at their; production lines, values chains, supply chains, partner and service provider networks etc.

Now we know the timeline. It is less than 1000 days to end of December 2020.

My recommendation: start now.

Source: Business Insider