Policy engagement at Queen’s

The Brexit Border in 4 key slides

Dr Katy Hayward gives an outline of what border controls could mean for different types of border with the EU after Brexit.

The Brexit Border in 4 key slides

This is a pared-back and simplified overview of complex matters. It is the second draft of a work in progress. The author welcomes corrections, comments and suggestions.

To download the slides, please click here.


Slide 1 shows the different scale of customs controls on the movement of goods across an EU border, depending on the trade relationship a country has with the EU.



Slide 2 shows what customs controls mean in practice for operators and customs agencies.



Slide 3 shows what technology can do at a border and what is still nonetheless required to enforce a customs border.



Slide 4 shows the possible scenarios for UK/EU, GB/NI and NI/IRL border in light of the UK/EU Joint Report of 8 December 2017.



The featured image has been used courtesy of a Creative Commons license. 


Dr Katy Hayward
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Dr Katy Hayward is a Reader in Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen's University Belfast. She has particular expertise on cross-border cooperation and management, focusing on the case study of Ireland/Northern Ireland and the impact of EU membership. For more information and links to some of her recent publications, please see her Queen's homepage: https://go.qub.ac.uk/hayward

1 Comment


Viewed from England it is all essentially hearsay what happens now at the land border between northern ireland and the irish republic. As I understand there were still routine border checks after the UK and ireland both joined the eEc and its customs union, until the advent of the EU single market was deemed to make them unnecessary. Is that correct? And is it the case that there now never any checks at the crossings, or is it just that there are no routine checks and no random checks but there are sometimes still intelligence driven checks? if so what was the indispensable change which took place, the beneficial effect of which could perhaps be replicated in another way for after the uk has left the EU and its customs union and single market? is the eu assuming that once out of the Eu the uk will be deliberately sending defective or illicit goods across the border which will have to be intercepted by the irish authorities? If the uk is sufficiently trusted to uphold eu law in that regard now, so there is little or no need for any checks at the border, why should the eu suppose that the UK will become untrustworthy once it has left?

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