Farmers For Action NI say their fears have been confirmed this week in Westminster that goods inbound and outbound from Great Britain to Northern Ireland would be caught up in Irish Sea custom clearance queues.
They say that, under Boris Johnston’s deal, goods would be caught up in queues for boats and freight planes having to carry out “costly customs clearance and inspections on goods inbound and outbound to and from the UK from Southern Ireland/EU via Northern Ireland”.
The group said that UK internal goods will need expensive confirmatory paperwork as to their UK status and will have to be inspected by Customs Officers when leaving or entering Northern Ireland, likewise at GB ports and airports with goods inbound for Northern Ireland or outbound to Great Britain.
A spokesperson said: “FFA have always said that the EU is far from perfect and needs change but we are better in the EU to affect that change than outside wishing we had stayed in, thus being able to enjoy the benefits of the Customs Union and single market.”
Sean McAuley, FFA Steering Committee, stated that MPs need to do everything within their power to keep the UK in the EU: “The UK’s Brexit voters have now got their wish - the Brexit exit vote confirmed in the House of Commons albeit the first stage of a process.
“This week Lord Heseltine likened Boris Johnston to a general leading his troops across a marsh, however the troops are now stuck in the marsh.
“Heseltine’s last point was a reference to Northern Ireland’s position in all of this turmoil and left him scathing of Boris Johnston stating that in Northern Ireland last year Johnston declared ‘there would be no border down the Irish Sea’ and now doing a complete U-turn, was in danger of unpicking all the good work of John Major and Tony Blair in succeeding with the Good Friday Agreement and nobody wants that.”
Sean McAuley concluded: “The Brexit story and its ramifications for family farmers and eventual outcome for Northern Ireland are far from over now with the possibility of a confirmatory referendum or an election or continued exit or a combination of all still possible.
“How we in Northern Ireland will finish up is unclear, however, where we should finish up is very clear. Politicians can never justify a future vote by taking their country backwards.”