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Plan for tax inspectors on Irish border dismissed

By Dan O'Donoghue

A Brexiteer plan to use tax inspector "flying squads" to solve the Irish border problem has been dismissed by Northern Ireland's Police Federation chief.

The plan, reported to be under consideration by the European Research Group of Conservative MPs, would see "mobile inspections teams" roaming Northern Ireland to ensure customs rules are being obeyed, ensuring no hard border.

The Sun reported that under their "Alternative Chequers" blueprint, firms would be made to self-declare the tax they owe on goods crossing the border with the EU, as well as certify the standards and quality.

But NI Police Federation chairman Mark Lindsay said: "I think it's an aspirational solution but the fact is that we have operations going on daily with HMRC in relation to fuel laundering and smuggling and people trafficking. For the NCA, for all those agencies that are being deployed on the border or into those border areas, they almost have a one per one police protection, so you need this ring of steel if you are going to do anything like what is being suggested."

Mr Lindsay was in Westminster to press home the need for more Brexit planning in Northern Ireland with ministers.

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