Northern Ireland news

No-deal Brexit: What will happen on Day One?

A no-deal Brexit 'will cause some food shortages'

A NO-DEAL Brexit on October 31 will cause serious disruption to the supply of food, medicine and chemicals in Northern Ireland, informed sources have warned.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged that the UK will leave the European Union next month even if no formal agreement is reached.

Without a deal, there will be no transition period to allow businesses, public bodies and the general public to respond to the changes.

Uncertainty about border controls and differences in regulations between the north and the Republic will have an immediate impact on the agri-food sector.

There will be some food shortages and prices are also expected to rise.

While there is still no clarity over what will actually happen without a deal, informed sources have warned of "profound and long-lasting" impact on the north's economy and society.

Sources believe the introduction of export tariffs will seriously impact on the north's economy, reducing Northern Ireland exports to the Republic by 11 per cent with "non-tariff barriers maybe increasing that to 19 per cent".

Read More: Boris Johnson rules out Northern Ireland-only backstop

Irish companies will have tariff-free access to the north.

Companies from other European Union countries would also have tariff-free access through the Republic.

However, sources do not believe such an arrangement can last long.

The general public may not see any impacts of a no-deal for several weeks. But November 1 could see some immediate changes.

Day One of a no-deal

- Border checks for goods entering the EU, including the Republic, will begin. Companies need to be registered as an importer/exporter and will have to make customs declarations. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said there will be checks on goods and live animals, which would take place "as far as possible" in ports, airports and at businesses. He said some checks need to take place "near the border"

- Farmers who export their goods, particularly those who export live animals and raw milk to the Republic for processing, will see an immediate impact. Dairy farmers who process their milk in the Republic will need an export health certificate which they will need to apply for in advance. The certificates need to be signed by an environmental health officer or a vet

- Export tariffs will kick in, with a severe effect on some businesses, particularly in the agri-food sector. Although consumers may not see an immediate change in prices, they will increase over time

- Shipments are likely to be delayed as customs forms are checked

- Food supplies are likely to be disrupted, although the effects of this may not be seen for some days or weeks. The taoiseach has said there "will still be plenty of food on shelves but perhaps not all of the same brands"

- Cross-border rail services, flights and buses will run normally but a longer-term agreement will be needed to allow this to continue

- In a no-deal, drivers from the north will need a green card to drive in the EU. They might also need an international driving permit to cross the border and will need one to drive in mainland Europe

- Pet owners who want to take their animal into the EU need to contact their vet four months before travel to get them chipped and vaccinated and get a pet passport

- The PSNI's immediate access to EU criminal databases will be affected

- UK boats will no longer be able to fish in EU waters and vice versa, although this change is expected to be phased in over time

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