No deal Brexit: No tariffs for Irish goods going to NI

A piggy bank with a Euro note

If MPs reject no-deal - as most Westminster observers expect - a third vote will follow on Thursday on whether to authorise May to request an extension of the two-year Article 50 negotiation process.

To keep the Irish border open, it also says there would be no checks or customs declarations for most goods passing from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland.

The Government insisted the arrangements will not create a border down the Irish Sea.

But some, including Esmond Birnie, the senior economist at the Ulster Business School, said there could be a potential gain to consumers in Northern Ireland from tariff-free status being extended to a wider range of goods.

The UK Government would only apply a small number of measures strictly necessary to comply with global legal obligations, protect the biosecurity of the island of Ireland, or to avoid the highest risks to Northern Ireland businesses - but these measures will not require checks at the land border.

But they said these were the only steps that could be taken to deliver on the government's commitment to avoiding a hard border in the case of no deal.

"The measures announced today recognise the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland".

The call from businesses in Northern Ireland since the vote to leave the European Union referendum has been for an end to uncertainty. VAT registered businesses would continue to account for VAT on their normal VAT returns.

This table summarises applied UK tariffs in key sectors in a No Deal scenario

Small businesses trading across the border will be able to report Value-Added Tax online without any new processes at the border.

It is possible that while Irish products would enter Northern Ireland tariff free, products moving in the other direction would face tariffs. Plants and plant products from a non-EU country which have not been previously checked by an EU Member state would also be checked at authorised inland trade premises. However, there would be no checks between Northern Ireland and Britain.

These unilateral measures only mitigate the impacts of exit that are within the UK Government's control.

Alan Sked from the London School of Economics, told RT that he predicts there could be a "small amount" of smuggling, but that fundamentally it would depend on what the Irish did as an European Union member, as Brussels wants controls on goods at the border. Meanwhile, a report by MPs from the influential public accounts committee on Tuesday said that the United Kingdom government's preparations for a no-deal Brexit have been "rushed", "risky", and "over-optimistic".

The government will lay the appropriate legislation in light of the outcome of the vote on no deal today.

"If we leave without a deal, we will set the majority of our import tariffs to zero, whilst maintaining tariffs for the most sensitive industries", Trade Policy Minister George Hollingbery said.

"It is a temporary measure, this is for a short term while we engage with business and we see what the real term consequences are", he told BBC radio.

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