There’s a solution here

Brexit is “not something to celebrate”, Ireland’s foreign minister Simon Coveney declared after the UK formally severed ties with the EU, as he warned of trading disruptions due to fresh red tape.

In stark contrast to Boris Johnson’s buoyant characterisation of the country’s future following the end of the transition period at 11pm on Thursday, Coveney painted the UK’s departure as a source of regret.

Calling it the end of an era, Coveney said trade across the Irish Sea would be “disrupted by an awful lot more checks and declarations, and bureaucracy and paperwork, and cost and delays”.

Err, why not reduce the costs and delays by reducing the checks, declarations, bureaucracy and paperwork?

39 thoughts on “There’s a solution here”

  1. Much of the world does the “paperwork” electronically before the goods are even shipped. Can’t the EU move into the 20th century?

  2. Tired: expecting the EU’s pet leprechauns to be reasonable

    Wired: invade Ireland, steal their potatoes, and add the less unattractive members of B*Witched to my harem

  3. Given the aggro they caused we British I’m amazed the Irish population haven’t read “Ireland 2040” and aren’t fighting their so-called “Government” in the streets already.

  4. You’re welcome to join the Sterling area, Paddy. And by the way, about all those Irish nationals living and working in the UK…

  5. . . . why not reduce the costs and delays by reducing the checks, declarations, bureaucracy and paperwork?

    They might argue fairly that it is us who have introduced the checks, declarations, bureaucracy and paperwork, and that reducing them is not in their power. At which point another solution presents – stop trading across the Irish Sea. Maritime routes exist between Eire and mainland Europe. Away you go.

  6. Of course it’s not something for Ireland to celebrate. Keep f*cking with us, as you have been doing for the last 4 years, and you can get used to long and expensive sea journeys for your exports.

  7. Another solution would be to make Richard Murphy the trade minister. Just imagine the number of problems that would solve…. But don’t worry about the new problems that will inevitably follow

  8. ” by reducing the checks, declarations, bureaucracy and paperwork?”

    Or at least make them efficient… But there’s bureaucracy in there on both ends isn’t it? That lot doesn’t play nice..

  9. Err, why not reduce the costs and delays by reducing the checks, declarations, bureaucracy and paperwork?

    Not possible. That is the very lifeblood of government.

  10. There are existing protocols (“T2 community transit”) for moving bonded goods from one EU country to another while passing through a non-EU country. Greece has had to deal with it for decades.

  11. First Macron and now this guy. There seems to be no shortage of foreigners who know what’s best for us keen to tell us what to do. That does sort of make the point that leaving was necessary.

  12. Can’t we take advantage of Brexit to tell lots of Paddies to fuck off back to the Republic of Ireland?

    (Not me, of course, I only have a Paddy grandfather. And not being a Papist I’m déraciné anyway.)

  13. Diogenes: Another solution would be to make Richard Murphy the trade minister.

    That’s an absolute corker of a proposal. Why not suggest it to him (maybe as a senior foreign trade expert0 and see if he bites?

  14. If it’s inconvenienced that twat Coveney even mildly, then that’s a mark in Brexit’s favour. Can we get boot them out of the Common Travel Area next?

  15. Diogenes,

    “Much of the world does the “paperwork” electronically before the goods are even shipped. Can’t the EU move into the 20th century?”

    It already is. Remember, most politicians have not worked in trade, or not for a very long time. If you’re in a company producing things, you probably have a system where you enter orders and click a button to generate a consignment note. Now, you generate a custom declaration by clicking a button. And yes, there’s some cost to that, but it’s mostly in the setup, not continual.

    From Reuters:-

    “A barcode on Romanian driver Toma Moise’s paperwork was scanned and approved in seconds. “The future, I don’t think it will be difficult,” he said in broken English before continuing his journey towards Britain.”

    Sorry remoaners, the starving millions begging to return to the EU ain’t going to happen.

  16. BoM4, I was involved as the finance guy on projects such as Tradeway and Air Cargo Processing for the 80s (ACO90), which linked freight forwarders, shippers, airports, warehouses and Customs onto a single almost real-time system. The remoamer journalist’s idea of how trade happens is laughably outdated but never combated. The queues outside Dover stuff was always bullshit but it seemed that the government was equally ill-informed

  17. It could be that freighters that only deal within the single market and not with the rest of the world are not used to the existing systems and need babysitting. However, not sure how many freight companies could be in this position

  18. It’s also sadly not beyond the realms of possibility that they aren’t needed but the government doesn’t know this.

    Dominic Raab, when Brexit secretary, admitted he had no notion that a lot of UK trade went through the port of Dover as though all that lovely claret and camembert erupted through a trapdoor under his Waitrose in Weybridge.

  19. There seem to be plenty of US goods in EU shops. Presumably we can just clone whatever systems they use for getting the necessary customs and other clearances. I bet Apple have something usable.

    Conversely most exporters to the EU will also deal with non-EU countries, so will have the necessary systems in place.

  20. Bloke in North Dorset

    It could be that freighters that only deal within the single market and not with the rest of the world are not used to the existing systems and need babysitting. However, not sure how many freight companies could be in this position

    Its not a difficult problem to fix, though. Either bring in a consultancy for a few moths or hire someone with the speciality.

    Its a cost but most us accepted there were some costs to Brexit in the short term and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s grants to be had to help with the problem.

  21. Chris, plenty of Chinese goods too… How do those foreigners manage? Remember those economists bewailing about the transaction costs of Brexit? Are they more than micro cents per transaction?

  22. @AndrewM Well, assuming the lorries actually contain what’s on the barcoded papers, every single lorrie has to be checked for stray cheese and bacon/egg sandwiches…

  23. @Diogenes – it is amazing that Immingham is #1 by tonnage but there’s a lot of aggregates and timber in what comes in there. So someone looked at container volumes and I think Felixstowe came top for that. Aha, said the Dover fanatics, we are number one by value.
    So someone probed a little further and found that that accolade goes to Heathrow (https://en.mercopress.com/2018/02/27/heathrow-is-uk-s-largest-port-by-value-106bn-worth-of-goods-needs-urgent-expansion)
    The Union Kingdom is rather good in this respect to have so many contenders for the top spot. In Northern Europe Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg are public sector owned ports, and they have fewer competitor ports. UK has very few publicly owned ports.

  24. So with all this port one-upmanship, something I honestly don’t know; is there a distinction being made between accompanied and unaccompanied freight ?
    Are there queues at Dover and the Chunnel simply because the hairy Bulgarian drivers travel with their goods (or more likely empty trailers) ?
    Other ports don’t have queues because drivers dump their containers and bugger off home ?

  25. “UK has very few publicly owned ports.”

    Ah, the days when Conservative governments were conservative, and actively aimed to reduce the size and reach of the State……………..

  26. Port of Rotterdam : “a government corporation jointly owned by the municipality of Rotterdam and the Dutch State. “

  27. It works as a “private” corporation for all practical purposes. Has to, really.

    The whole thing was set up mainly because the Beast had to grow, and Rotterdam could not annex parts of other municipalities, nor the state disown large swathes of potentially profitable riverside and give it to Rotterdam. Something, something, pitchforks and torches..
    So the choice was made to incorporate the harbor activities, so that Port of Rotterdam could buy/lease municipal property like any other corporation, and a lot of the politics involved were mooted.

    There’s actually others that hold shares, but they’re also almost exclusively municipalities, and that mostly ceremonial. The amount is a mere blip on the total of 3 billion (3*10^9) shares created when the harbor was incorporated. You can’t buy them, they can only be awarded.

  28. The problem with public ownership isn’t mainly operation (although Stansted, Manchester and Edinburgh rank highly in dissatisfaction tables). It’s that it limits competition.
    When private LHR wants another runway, then an element of government thinks they are going to lose revenue, better put an objection in. If a private company, let’s call it DP World, wanted to open a major new port in NL you could get government deciding if they get permission, and a government interest objecting to permission.

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