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WTO RULES: “NO NEED FOR HARD BORDER”

By Pete Moore On November 27th, 2018

It’s always been as plain as day that the issue of a hard border was blown up from nothing into an impassable chain of mountainous obstacles. London won’t impose a hard border, Dublin won’t do it, nor will Brussels. And even the WTO says that there is nothing in its rulebook that would require one.

Remember, it’s this issue which No.10 and Brussels have concocted to keep us in a customs union, thereby crushing the global Britain agenda. It’s this issue, and the threat of a backstop, which the EU will use forever to keep us from being a sovereign, independent and self-governing people.

It always was a con.

29 Responses to “WTO RULES: “NO NEED FOR HARD BORDER””

  1. You missed out the later part:

    “Someone has to bring a complaint and say that their interests have been hurt.”

    If the UK imposes customs checks etc… on Ghana, Brazil, China, the United States and all the other countries on the planet but doesn’t impose customs checks on the Republic or the European Union then it empowers Ghana, Brazil, China, the United States and all the other countries on the planet to take a case against the UK and say their trade is being discriminated against (which it will be).

    The result is that the UK will be fined should it continue to impose checks on Ghana, Brazil, China, the United States and all the other countries on the planet.

  2. Well said, Seamus. If WTO rules apply but the UK and EU don’t implement a border…clearly that is a breach of the most basic principle of the WTO – that of MFN. As a result, other members will take them to task.

    This is what happens when ill-informed internet warriors think they understand things they know f*** all about.

  3. The UK can’t figure out how to leave the EU. Is this the same UK you expect to be a “sovereign, independent and self-governing people.”? Based on the present clown show, it is difficult to believe that if they ever figure out how to leave the EU the UK will suddenly become a successful “sovereign, independent and self-governing people.”

    It is obvious the Brexit dream of Boris and Jacob is dead. When the dream is dead it is time to wake up to reality and stop whinging.

  4. “Remember, it’s this issue which No.10 and Brussels have concocted to keep us in a customs union, thereby crushing the global Britain agenda. It’s this issue, and the threat of a backstop, which the EU will use forever to keep us from being a sovereign, independent and self-governing people.”

    If Britain want to be a sovereign, independent and self-governing people (and for what it is worth I would argue they already are) then go for it. Leave us out of your nonsense though. Let Northern Ireland stay in the EU (in its entirety) and let Britain leave the EU (in its entirety).

  5. Leave us out of your nonsense though. Let Northern Ireland stay in the EU (in its entirety) and let Britain leave the EU (in its entirety).

    Is it not supremely ironic that Brexiteers are insisting that their referendum mandate to leave the big union be respected while similtaneously insisting that those voting to remain be locked into the smaller union?

    Superb point on MFNs Reg.

  6. There is already a border between the UK and the RoI. The Good Friday Agreement recognises that fact.

    There are also accepted differences between the UK and the RoI such as, currency, VAT, corporation tax, labour rates and so on.

    Only tariffs come under WTO rules and the Customs Union. Indeed, if the UK were to remove tarrif on say, bananas from the United States, Brazil and Ghana, then they have to remove tarrifs from bananas grown in the RoI also 😘. I mean, that is just common sense ? !

    http://www.bananalink.org.uk/content/where-bananas-are-grown

    When VAT is filled out, there is a section for imports from other EU Countries. I assume so that they correct levels of VAT can be claimed. The same too can be said of CE marks and TIR.

    https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/customs-procedures/what-is-customs-transit/tir-transports-internationaux-routiers-international-road-transport_en

    With over 50 countries using the procedure, the TIR system is the international customs transit system with the widest geographical coverage. As other customs transit procedures, the TIR procedure enables goods to move under customs control across international borders without the payment of the duties and taxes

    And

    If you are importing a product that is from a third country you have to check that the manufacturer outside the EU has undertaken the necessary steps. You must check that the documentation is available.

    This from : https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ce-marking

    The UK is currently a member of the EEA. I, for the record, do not support WTO but EEA membership with a view to abandoning it once a FTA is concluded with the EU. However, leaving on WTO is not as problematic as people think and a border, albeit an electronic one does and will continue to exist.

    The problem here is, that those who are against the UK leaving the EU come from a very particular background 😉. I doubt their feelings are based on what is of benefit to both the UK and to the EU but more to their own petty bigotry and National Socialist ideology.

  7. There is already a border between the UK and the RoI. The Good Friday Agreement recognises that fact.

    And who’s disputing this? The difference being that there’s a difference between the seamless border which now exists on the island of Ireland and a hard border which at its best was custom posts and border guards and at at its worst was mountainside watch towers manned by armed camoflage uniforms and bomb proof sterile security zones.

    Any kind of derogation from the current seamless border would be absolutely unacceptable to the overwhelming majority to people in both states on the island of Ireland.

    I doubt their feelings are based on what is of benefit to both the UK and to the EU but more to their own petty bigotry and National Socialist ideology.

    Your declaration that those who don’t wish to see a border on the island of Irelnd are Nazi bigots exhibits your own squalid prejudices perfectly.

  8. Don’t be sly, Mark. We are talking about a customs border.

    Moreover, MFN doesn’t just apply to “tariffs” themselves (albeit that is the most well known impact). Article 1 of GATT sets out what MFN means and that it also applies to “All rules and formalities in connection with importation and exportation”.

    In other words, the very first article in the WTO agreement relating to trade in goods sets out clearly that, outside a formal FTA or customs union, members can’t just randomly ignore customs formalities re trade with one particular country.

  9. I never suggested we ignore them. All I am saying is, that many non-EU countries work perfectly fine with the EU.

    Anyway, tariffs are set by the importing country and, if the UK and EU recognise common tariffs on certain goods, what’s the problem ?

  10. The UK is currently a member of the EEA. I, for the record, do not support WTO but EEA membership with a view to abandoning it once a FTA is concluded with the EU

    You are aware that one of the central tenats of EEA membership is free movement between all the EU member states as well as that of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway?

    http://www.efta.int/eea/policy-areas/persons/persons

    Acceptable?

  11. Seamus –

    Just 2 per cent of non-EU imports are subject to a physical check – 2 per cent. Fine, so we check 2 per cent of imports from the EU. And we have a Rotterdam set up, where the customs check is 40 miles from Rotterdam. So we can have a little tin shed 40 miles from the UK/EU border where a tiny fraction of imports are checked. And there’s still no hard border. You really have run out of actors to fall back on here. No-one will impose a hard border.

    New Yorker –

    I’ll never grow tired of being told, by people who value their own independence – one gained without a plan I might add – that our independence is simply not realistic. If I weren’t so English I’d give the very idea the two-word reply it deserves.

    I’ll give you one thing; it’s unrealistic with a PM, Cabinet, wider government and Parliament all intent on thwarting the people.

    But we have not only figured out how to leave this union (peacefully, I might add, unlike you lot), we have already done what we need to do. On 29th March 2019 all the treaties binding us will be repealed and that will be that. We need do nothing else.

    But Remainers have always controlled the process, and they are busy trying to get us back in. That’s what this is about.

  12. Where the customs check is 40 miles from Rotterdam

    Is that correct? I find that very strange. Everything I see online here suggests that the customs clearance stations for Rotterdam are based in the port of Rotterdam.

  13. Paul –

    Lord Lilley said that last week on Radio 4. I can’t find a link to that, but he wrote this last week also –

    https://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2018/11/peter-lilley-fears-about-leaving-the-customs-union-are-a-mix-of-imaginary-and-exaggerated.html

    The claim that WTO rules require checks to be made at the border is also incorrect. Checks of customs declarations are carried out electronically and physical checks often made at importer’s or exporter’s premises. Even the Union Customs code, which requires agri-food checks at border inspection posts ‘in the vicinity of the border’ allows them to be as far as 40 kilometres inland.

    I’m sure I heard miles, but whatever. The point is that customs posts, even if erected, and none will be, don’t have to be at the border.

  14. This would differ. This all suggests that goods are checked at point of entry:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/27/port-of-rotterdam-infrastructure-plans-stall-amid-brexit-uncertainty

    https://sclrotterdam.com/en/services/customs-permits/customs-procedures

    https://theloadstar.co.uk/port-rotterdam-plans-post-brexit-customs-trial-discover-bottlenecks/

    https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/Port-Rotterdam-Brexit-trial-customs/527138/

    Perhaps your anti EU Lord was making things up incorrect?

  15. Paul is correct. It may be that 2% are physically inspected…but all need to wait for routing before they can be cleared at point of entry.(green is go; orange is document check; red is physical inspection)…unless the importer is approved for a simplified procedure like local clearance.

  16. I find it incredible that sensitive material unchecked by customs would be allowed to travel 40 kms inland before being inspected.

  17. Article 6
    1. Border inspection posts must:
    (a) be located in the immediate vicinity of the point of
    entry into one of the territories
    listed in Annex I, and
    in an area which is designated by the customs
    authorities in accordance with the first
    subparagraph, points (a) and (b) of Article 38(1) of
    Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92.
    However, where necessitated by geographical
    constraints (such as an unloading wharf or a pass), a
    border inspection post at a certain distance from the
    point of introduction may be tolerated in accordance
    with the procedure laid down in paragraph 2 and, in
    the case of rail transport, at the first station stop
    designated by the competent authority

    https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:31997L0078&from=EN

    I think that puts Lilley’s lies incorrections to bed.

  18. So we can have a little tin shed 40 miles from the UK/EU border where a tiny fraction of imports are checked. And there’s still no hard border.

    No, but the IRA gangsters would blow up the tin shed and possibly murder those working in it. So it would have to be protected 24-7 and it would be a permanent target and its staff would be under permanent threat of murder. That’s the reality Pete. As someone once said, they haven’t gone away you know.

    And the political point is that anything other than a soft Brexit (either May’s plan or a Norway-EFTA type deal) will give the Shinners a great boost in their demand for a border poll. Anyone who really wants to preserve the union needs to take that on board, but it seems that the likes of Johnson and Rees-Mogg have a tin ear when it comes to Northern Ireland, a far-away country for which they care little.

  19. That’s the reality Pete

    And that

    Border inspection posts must: (a) be located in the immediate vicinity of the point of entry into one of the territories

    Peter.

    BTW, my own opinion is that dissis currently don’t have the abilities for what you allege above but, again in my opinion, there’s no question that they would regard any such presence as a gift from the Gods in propaganda terms.

  20. Yes Paul, Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson are Little-Englanders at heart, despite all their “Global Britain” bullshit.

  21. Paul –

    You referenced a 1997 Directive. Lord Lilley referenced the Union Customs Code, which entered into effect in 2016. Your reference is out of date.

    Peter –

    The IRA won’t do a thing. I’ve been told by Sinn Fein/IRA types, some in here no less, that all arms and ammunition has been totally and verifiably decommissioned. They weren’t lying, were they? If they were lying, well stuff it. It’s our land and we can put nothing on it if we like.

    The other side of the border is owned by the EU and they won’t put anything on it either. One thing I know for sure is that the Belfast Agreement didn’t say that the UK cannot leave the EU.

    Rees-Mogg is no Little Englander. He’s a Catholic. Little Englanders are very Anglican in outlook. And neither is Boris Johnson. He’s a neo-con.

    None of which is to defend them as such, because there’s nothing wrong with Little England or Little Englanderism. Frankly we could do with a bit more of it around.

  22. The IRA won’t do a thing.

    Whatever Pete. I live in Belfast, so what do I know about it compared to you and Rees-Mogg?

    And Johnson is not a neo-con, he’s just a con as in con-man.

  23. I think that you mis-read what Pete was saying

  24. Pete is actually correct for once ‘re the legislative reference. Reg 2913/92 was the old Community Customs Code. It was replaced in May 2016 by the Union Customs Code.

  25. You referenced a 1997 Directive. Lord Lilley referenced the Union Customs Code, which entered into effect in 2016. Your reference is out of date

    You know what a European Directive is don’t you Pete?

    A “directive” is a legislative act that sets out a goal that all EU countries must achieve.

    https://europa.eu/european-union/eu-law/legal-acts_en

    Please show me this ‘Union Customs Code’ and explain how it supersedes a European Directive in legislative terms. As I said, your Lord Lilley is simply incorrect as both the directive and the four links to the port of Rotterdam above show.

    I suspect that Lilley is being deliberately disingenuous and very deliberate in his example of Rotterdam as it is the biggest port in Europe and the sixth biggest in the world by annual cargo throughput and threfore more a customs complex as opposed to post as it is quite possible give the enormity of it’s size that a customs inspection could take place kilometeres away from the dock and still be within the customs complex.

    I’ve been told by Sinn Fein/IRA types, some in here no less, that all arms and ammunition has been totally and verifiably decommissioned. They weren’t lying, were they?

    No, I don’t believe they were when they were talking about Provisional IRA weapons, however:

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/dissident-republican-weapons-becoming-more-sophisticated-1.2486946

    But I’m sure you already knew that?

    Peter, Rees Mogg is a Dickensian characture born into a life of wealth and priviledge and a multi millionaire banker,(the kind we’re told are pro EU). Johnson, like Mogg born into a life of wealth & priviledge is also the epitome of the ‘elite’ and ‘establishment’ that we keep hearing about with the difference being that Johnson is made of raw, naked ambition who was a Remainer until he saw what he saw was his golden opportunity.

    To suggest that either give any shits at all about the working Brit let alone what happens in any part of the island of Ireland, muck like the uber Brexis here, is hilarious.

  26. Oh, I just did your leg work for you Pete and went through the Union Customs Code and found this:

    (49) In view of increased security-related measures, the
    placing of goods into free zones should become a
    customs procedure and the goods should be subject to
    customs controls at entry
    and with regard to records.

    https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32013R0952&from=EN

    Tell Lord Lilley he’s welcome.

  27. Pete Moore

    “I’ll give you one thing; it’s unrealistic with a PM, Cabinet, wider government and Parliament all intent on thwarting the people.” It now looks like the people will get another chance to right the wrong of Brexit with a second referendum. That would be a sane solution to mess the UK put itself in. Do you agree?

  28. Article 134 of the UCC sets out the requirements for customs supervision. “They shall remain under such supervision for as long as is necessary to determine their customs status and shall not be removed there from without the permission of the customs authorities”.

    Yes, usually, goods are routed green quickly and cleared but, until then, need to remain under customs supervision in case of orange or red routing.

    Yes, certain operators can have local clearance at their premises, but this is a small number who meet the requirements and are suitably authorised.

    Again, Lilley is talking about something he doesn’t fully understand and so misleading his supporters.

  29. Yet more wonderful news!

    New figures show that growth in Britain’s manufacturing sector is outpacing every other major European nation as the EU is gripped by a slowdown. Manufacturing growth is at a 26-month low in France, and a 31 month low even in powerhouse Germany. Also Italy languishes at a 47-month low…

    IHS Markit has released its index of factory activity in November where a score of 50 is the cut off point between growth and decline. The UK has risen to 53.1, but the Eurozone as a whole has fallen to its lowest since August 2016, at 51.8.

    All the while the ONS has revealed that the UK’s inward foreign direct investment (FDI) position increased to £1,336.5 billion last year, a record high. Despite Brexit…

    https://order-order.com/2018/12/04/brexit-britain-fdi-soaring-manufacturing-booming/