All the Brexiteers’ horses, and all the Brexiteers’ men, and they couldn’t sort Ireland’s border between them. The thorniest issue facing the negotiations on Britain’s future relationship with the EU continues to be, well, thorny. But then the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines experienced a lightbulb moment: he had discovered a cunning plan, more cunning that that devised by a Professor of Cunning and the most Cunning University.
“Irish Allow Remote Customs Checks” proclaimed the Fawkes blog this morning, the post being brought to a dwindling readership by new teaboy Tom Harwood, as Staines can’t be arsed posting himself when he has a chap to do that sort of thing for him. So what are these “remote customs checks” that Staines has discovered?
“As Guido was travelling through Dublin Airport last night [surely ‘waddling’? - Ed], he noticed the remote customs checks the Americans have, 3,000 miles away from the US border. The Republic of Ireland are perfectly happy with the principle of remote customs clearance, except for when it’s politically convenient not to be”.
So was the Irish border issue sorted at a stroke? Well, no it wasn’t: what Staines had seen was “US Customs and Border Protection, Dublin Preclearance”. And had The Great Man been bothered [surely “sober’? - Ed] to indulge in the mystical art known as “Five minutes’ Googling”, he would have discovered that this was not a solution to the EU impasse.
This is what the US CBP website tells us about border preclerance: “U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) air Preclearance operations is the strategic stationing of CBP law enforcement personnel overseas to inspect travelers prior to boarding U.S.-bound flights. Through Preclearance, CBP Officers conduct the same immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections of international air travelers typically performed upon arrival in the United States before departure from foreign airports”.
And the purpose for this? “DHS firmly believes that establishing Preclearance operations in strategic locations will assist our efforts in identifying terrorists, criminals, and other national security threats prior to their boarding an aircraft bound for the United States, and is a critical step in DHS’s continued efforts to enhance national security and facilitate growing international travel and commerce”. Quite.
What Staines saw is the kinds of procedures that would normally be enacted when going through immigration on arrival in the USA by airline passengers. This has the added advantage that the US CBP only allows through those without any sanction on their entry to the country, and enables them to avoid standing in line for immigration checks once they disembark the plane on arrival in the USA. It does not apply to goods and services.
So what The Great Guido spied at Dublin Airport will solve nothing. But good to see that the Fawkes rabble remains as clueless and poorly-informed about Brexit as before, and has no answers to those thorny questions - just like his Tory Party pals.
Still, helps to keep his gofers occupied on a slow news day. Another fine mess.
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