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EU Customs Declarations

Volume 671: debated on Wednesday 5 February 2020

12. Whether EU customs declarations will be undertaken in Belfast on goods imported from mainland UK after the UK has left the EU. (900571)

As I stated earlier, the deal makes it crystal clear that Northern Ireland is in, and remains part of, the UK’s customs territory. It allows the UK to ensure unfettered market access for goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain. The arrangements we introduce will reflect this. As Great Britain and Northern Ireland are in the same customs territory, no tariffs will be due on goods coming from Great Britain and staying in Northern Ireland.

The European Commission released documents showing that EU import formalities on goods imported from the EU, such as customs declarations, would end up taking place in Belfast. [Interruption.] I see that the Minister is struggling to hear what I am saying. Does he not think that the best way of ensuring that there are no barriers to trade would be to remain in the customs union?

As the hon. Lady will recognise, there are specific arrangements in the protocol that protect Northern Ireland’s position with regard to trade with both Ireland and the United Kingdom. It is in the UK’s gift—and we will deliver on our commitments—to ensure that Northern Ireland has unfettered access to whole of the UK internal market.