UK cus­toms union ex­isted for decades

Western Morning News - - Letters -

On page 18 of WMN

Novem­ber 5, your con­trib­u­tor David Wil­cock wrote: “The Sun­day Times re­ported that the EU would al­low the cre­ation of a whole UK cus­toms union that would avoid the need for a North­ern Ire­land bor­der back­stop”.

Please could some knowl­edge­able per­son ex­plain what this means.

As I un­der­stood it, just such a UK cus­toms union has ex­isted for decades (per­haps cen­turies), cov­er­ing the whole of Eng­land, Wales, Scot­land and North­ern Ire­land, and was es­tab­lished at a time when we didn’t need the per­mis­sion of any out­side body to do so. I also un­der­stood that, about a cen­tury ago, the peo­ple of South­ern Ire­land de­cided to leave the UK, and set up an in­de­pen­dent coun­try, The Repub­lic of Ire­land, and that they re­cently de­cided to re­main in the EU af­ter UK Brexit in March next year. If th­ese de­ci­sions were in ac­cor­dance with the wishes of the peo­ple, they had ev­ery right to take them, but must now face up to the con­se­quences. They have no right to tell the UK what we have to do.

I also un­der­stood that it is a fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple of the EU that there must be an open bor­der al­low­ing free move­ment of peo­ple and goods be­tween coun­tries of the EU, but that there can be no such open bor­der with a coun­try out­side the EU. Have I got this wrong, or are we ex­pect­ing the EU to al­ter its fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples?

Robin Woods

St Do­minick

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