Neither Armageddon nor nirvana. That’s how the chair of Westminster’s Northern Ireland Affairs Committee described the first month of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Michael Gove introduced an aviation metaphor to describe the turbulence so far. According to Gove – “We all know that when an aeroplane takes off that’s the point when you sometimes get that increased level of turbulence. But then you eventually reach a cruising altitude and the crew tell you to take your seatbelts off and enjoy a gin and tonic and some peanuts. We’re not at the gin and tonic and peanuts stage yet, but I’m confident that we will be.”
February has allowed more time to assess the impact of the disruption so far and how firms have adapted, or not to the new regulatory environment. Irish Revenue says it processed 1.8m customs declarations in January which exceeded the 1.6m for the whole of 2020. That highlights the scale of the bureaucracy firms now face.
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