I have been involved in the BREXIT dialogue and with BREXIT advisory work for more than one year already. Still we have just started.

Last week I presented my academic report on BREXIT Northern Ireland-Ireland border, ‘SmartBorder 2.0’ to the European Parliment in Brussel. It was the EP Consitutional Committee that had commissioned the report.

I have had very positive feedback on the report both on UK and EU sides. Also media has picked up the proposal. I have been quoted in more than 15 papers and interviewed in several TV channels, including BBC.

Read ‘Flip Chart Fairy Tales’, an interesting blog about this type of topic.

The blog owner and author, who also writes for Finanacial Times, has written an article about the Northern Ireland-Irland border, referring to my report and quoting my twitter account:

It is a good article, but also this article though make the mistake of referring to how exisiting operational border solutions could be used at the EU-UK borders comparing these models with the potential situation at the new UK border. This simply does not work.

The Sweden-Norway border and the Switzerland-France border solutions are among the best in the world but they were designed and developed for another environment in another time.

My argument is that these borders, and some other operational best practice examples like e.g. United States-Canada border, have all the necessary components of a Smart Border solution. However, the model for UK-EU must be upgraded and considerably further developed – as well as adjusted – to the specific UK-EU environment. This is obvious. So saying that these solutions would bot work for e.g. The Ireland-Northern Ireland border is true and wrong. In the way they look now: no. In the way they could be implemented: yes.

Same thing happens when I mention the need of a new AEO, Authorized Economic Operator programme. People directly think about the EU AEO programme and the way that programme is designed and operated today.

First of all, there are a number of AEO programmes that are more modern than the EU AEO concept, as well as e.g. the U.S. C T-PAT programme.

These legacy programmes were contructed ten years ago for another world. They are old solutions and not state-of-the-art anymore.

Today there are modern, holistic, operational compliance management – AEO and Trusted Traders programmes – like; AEO Brazil, Australian Trusted Trader, UAEO.

These programmes are very different models than the EU AEO model and have extensive benefit programmes, system support, AEO KPI/performance measurement systems, effecient joint monitoring tools etc etc – while still meeting the international standards.

This is what I am talking about as the highest tier in a new UK Trusted Trader programme.

Such a programme will also have several lower tiers for different types of operators, like the legendary Swedish Stairway Concept. Still considered the most effcient model ever.

The lower tiers will be easier to access for SMEs and other operators, that only need to be known, having a acceptable level of compliance based on risk. The different tiers will have different benefit programmes as well.

The two examples mentioned in this blogpost are excellent illustrations why some people fully understandably don’t get the correct picture of what we are talking about.

We make references to international standards and use exisiting terminology as examples, when we really are talking about something else – meaning more advanced versions of these best practices. So terminology gets in the way of the real debate.

In the future, let’s talk and compare apples with apples and pears with pears. I will do my best to contribute to that debate.

UK is on course to open trade talks with the EU next week after Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May confirmed a divorce deal has been reached, including on the Irish border row.

At an upbeat and conciliatory press conference at the EU Commission’s headquarters this morning the pair said that both sides had made compromises in order to clinch an agreement.

The PM and Mr Juncker looked relaxed and in good spirits as they briefed the press and said the pact would guarantee security for businesses and citizens on both sides of the Channel.

Negotiators have now published the full text of the agreement, which Mrs May said her DUP partners had agreed to back after “significant improvements” were made.

The new text was cobbled together following a series of frantic phone calls between the prime minister, the Commission chief and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar throughout this week.

Mr Juncker said: “Prime Minister May has assured me that it has the backing of the UK Government. The Commission has just formally decided to recommend to the European Council that sufficient progress has been made on the terms of the divorce.

“Today’s result is of course a compromise. As in any negotiation both sides had to listen to each other adjust their position and show a willingness to compromise. It is a result of a long and tense discussion between the Commission negotiators and those of the UK.

“I am hopeful, confident, sure that the member states will share our appraisal and allow us to move to the next phase of the negotiations.”

On Brexit, he added: “I will always be sad about this development but now we must start looking for the future, the future in which the UK will be and will remain a close friend and ally.

“The Prime Minister and I discussed the need for a transition period and we dedicated much of our meeting to the joint vision for a deep and close partnership.

“It’s crucial for us all that we keep working closely together. We will take things one step at a time…but today I’m hopeful that we are all now moving towards the second phase of these challenging negotiations and we can do this jointly on the basis of renewed trust, determination and with the perspective of a renewed friendship.”

Mrs May told reporters the new text represents a “significant improvement” on the draft rejected by the DUP on Monday. She said the agreement had required “significant give and take” and was “in the best interests of the whole of the UK”.

She said: “This was a question of coming together and working together for agreements that were in the best interests of either side. I hope and expect we will be able to get the endorsement of the 27 to what is a hard won agreement in all of our interests.

“I believe it’s a matter of trust and integrity in politicians for people to be able to trust that their politicians will put into place what they have determined and that’s exactly what we’re doing and we will be leaving the European Union.”

Source: The Express

For the moment I am almost every week in London for different meetings related to Brexit.

There are so much to do when a huge economy like United Kingdom becomes the first nation leaving a fullt integrated Customs Union and the EU Customs territory.

There are still politicians and other people that claims that UK can have almost the same situation as before, with open borders and free movement of goods. That this is a matter of negotiations. This is naturally not true. You can’t be inside and outside a Customs Union and its Customs territory at the same time. When you leave, you leave.

And when you leave a Customs territory there will be Customs and Border formalities for various reasons.

Now we have a Brexit deal saying there will be no hard border and this is good. It is also possible.

For those who wonder how? I have three words for you; Read My Report!