No-deal Brexit to see return of duty-free shopping for passengers between Ireland and UK

No-deal Brexit to see return of duty-free shopping for passengers between Ireland and UK

Duty-free shopping may no longer be a thing of the past for people travelling from Ireland to UK ports and airports as Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe announced its return in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Donohoe was responding to a statement from the British government that it intends to reintroduce duty-free shopping for passengers travelling to EU countries if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October.

In this scenario, the UK will assume the status of a "third country" in terms of its trading relationship with the European Union.

The announcement does not apply to people travelling from Northern Ireland to the Republic as duty-free shopping only applies to airports and ports, it was confirmed.

In a statement, Mr Donohoe said that excise and VAT free sales on purchases of tobacco and alcohol made at duty-free shops - subject to quantitative purchase limits - would operate between Ireland and the UK in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

Meanwhile, the Government remains “highly sceptical” about Boris Johnson's promises to overcome the backstop quagmire, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said.

In an interview with US television, Mr Donohoe said the ideas from Mr Johnson responding back to the unique needs of the Irish border are not sufficient to satisfy Irish demands.

“We continue to be highly sceptical - whether those kinds of ideas are capable of responding back to the unique needs of the Irish border and avoiding the need for infrastructure on the border and on the island of Ireland,” he said.

Mr Donohoe told CNBC that given the current rude health of the Irish economy, even in the event of a no-deal “I believe we would be able to navigate our way through”.

Mr Donohoe said he thinks a no-deal Brexit on its own will lead to lower growth but not a recession.

“So yes, it will pose an economic shock. Yes, it will pose difficulties and challenges for us but we can respond back to it. We can mobilize the resources within Ireland to protect workers, to protect living standards and we will in the medium term, I believe, be well capable of responding back to that kind of shock,” he said.

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