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Revenue Commissioner's Brexit report shows why Donegal needs to lobby for special status for Northern Ireland

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Revenue Commissioner's Brexit report shows why Donegal needs to lobby for special status for Northern Ireland

A report from the Revenue Commissioner’s shows the importance of ensuring the north remains in the EU regardless of Brexit, a Donegal TD has warned.

Commenting on the the Revenue Commissioner’s report on Customs requirements post-Brexit, Pearse Doherty, Sinn Féin TD,  says the findings of the report identify the extent and importance of traffic to and from Northern Ireland.

Doherty said all TDs especially Donegal TDs must now actively campaign for Special Status for the north. "There can be no excuses about a so called soft or frictionless border," he added.

Deputy Doherty said the fact the report shows 20% of cross-border traffic – 6 million journeys- comes through the three main Donegal crossing at Lifford, Burnfoot and Strabane underlines the importance of protecting that 

“20% of cross-border traffic – 6 million journeys- comes through the three main Donegal crossing at Lifford, Burnfoot and Strabane. Donegal more than any other county needs action to ensure that the north is not dragged out of the EU by the Tories.

"All TDs especially Donegal TDs must now actively campaign for Special Status for the north. There can be no excuses about a so called soft or frictionless border," he said.

He added how the  report lists how excise duty, VAT and Customs Duties all become a far bigger, time consuming and expensive issue if the north leaves the EU.

"The report is damning in smashing the myth about soft or frictionless borders. It states 'a completely open border is not possible from a customs perspective and it is probably somewhat naïve to believe that a new and entirely unique arrangement can be negotiated and applied to the IE/UK land frontier', said Doherty.

Deputy Doherty added: "The report speaks about 8 designated crossings with customs infrastructure and even beyond this 'a visible regime of mobile patrols and checkpoints will be required to monitor and control the remaining multitude of unapproved routes to deter and detect abuse'."

He said that it's his view that the Revenue Commissioners see no way to prevent a hard border unless the north is given Special Status.