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Northern Ireland could remain part of EU customs territory, says report – updated

[ February 27, 2018   //   ]

Northern Ireland may be considered part of European Union customs territory after Brexit, says the BBC and quoting a report by Irish broadcaster RTE. It says it is contained in a draft legal text due to be published by the European Commission tomorrow (28 February).

The text apparently refers to “a single regulatory space on the island of Ireland with no internal barriers”.

The report cites “a well-placed EU source”.

It further states that joint EU-UK customs teams would check goods coming from the UK into the new regulatory space, but does not specify where that will take place.

The text will also say that the two other options preferred by the UK to avoid a hard border are also available, and that if agreement is reached on those options, the scenario described would not apply.

However, any moves to put Northern Ireland into the same customs territory as Southern Ireland could face opposition from Unionist politicians in the Province. In a tweet, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson from the Democratic Unionist Party said that any such move could lead to his party withdrawing its support for the Conservative minority government.

However, today Prime Minister Theresa May quickly poured cold water on the suggestion, saying that the EU proposal would threaten the UK’s constitutional integrity. “No UK prime minister could ever agree to this,” she said.