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NI businesses could get financial help in Brexit deal customs plan

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Northern Ireland firms could get financial support to help them deal with new border checks (PA)

Northern Ireland firms could get financial support to help them deal with new border checks (PA)

PA

Northern Ireland firms could get financial support to help them deal with new border checks (PA)

Businesses in Northern Ireland could be given financial support to help them deal with customs red tape caused by the UK Government's Brexit border plan.

The Daily Telegraph has reported that firms may receive subsidies from HMRC to help them deal with extra checks as result of the Irish Sea border.

It is expected that the payments would last for two years to support businesses with new administrative processes.

When the Brexit transition period ends on January 1 Northern Ireland will remain in the EU single market for goods, while the rest of the UK will not.

Earlier this week the UK Government submitted applications to the EU to create Border Control Posts at Northern Ireland's ports.

This will allow products entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain to be checked.

There will also be a £50m fund to help companies across the UK train their staff and upgrade their IT systems to make them compatible with the Government's Good Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS).

The system will manage goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and will be mainly used by lorry and haulage firms.

It will involve hauliers entering good's safety, security, transport and export declarations to generate a code which can then be presented at ports to streamline the process, it will also be used to determine which loads need to undergo checks.

The Government hopes to introduce a pilot scheme in November and have it fully operational by January 1.

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International Trade Secretary Liz Truss (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Meanwhile, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has said the Government's Brexit border plan could undermine Northern Ireland's place in the UK's customs territory.

Business Insider revealed that Ms Truss wrote to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove on Wednesday to express four "key areas of concern".

She detailed concern at how the new border border plans could affect Northern Ireland.

“I understand that the digital delivery of the dual tariff system [both EU and UK tariff] in Northern Ireland is a high risk and that HMRC are planning to apply the EU tariff as a default to all imports in Northern Ireland on January 1, 2021,” Ms Truss said.

“This is very concerning as this may call into question Northern Ireland’s place in the UK customs territory. Failure to deliver the UK tariff digitally in Northern Ireland would have political, legal and reputational risks.”

She also expressed concern about a potential World Trade Organization challenge to the UK's border regime when the transition period ends.

“This is especially relevant concerning the implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol and the application of the staged approach,” the International Trade Secretary said.

“These measures could significantly impact on the UK’s reputation at the WTO and I would appreciate your assurance that full border checks for EU-GB goods will be implemented no later than July 2021 and that all messaging will clearly reflect this point.”

Belfast Telegraph