back to article Drugs, vodka, Volvo: The Scandinavian answer to Britain's future new border

Most people leaving Kielder forest park in Northumberland go east towards Tyneside, but you can also head north-west on an uncategorised road through open countryside. After a few miles, just past the abandoned Deadwater rail station, a couple of road signs are all that marks the border between England and Scotland. But if …

  1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Narkotikahunden

    What a word!

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: Narkotikahunden

      Wasn't that an album track by The Fall?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Narkotikahunden

      "Narkotikahunden "

      translation: The Drug Dog

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Narkotikahunden

        I think The Narcotics Hound sounds a bit more heavy metal and befits Scandinavia.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Narkotikahunden

      What a word!

      I think I've just found the name for our next cat-appeasement[1] dog..

      [1] Senior female[2] cat *loves* dogs and got quite miserable when we didn't have one any more. So current dog is there to keep the cat happy..

      [2] As opposed to the 2 junior females who despise dogs. Which is why $CURRENT_DOG quickly learnt not to put his nose anywhere within about 20cm of their front paws.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: Narkotikahunden

        Katzenglücklichmacherhund.

    4. 9Rune5

      Re: Narkotikahunden

      WedonotwastespacesinNorway.

      1. Awil Onmearse
        WTF?

        Re: Narkotikahunden

        Propellermutterputsdukshandlaren :)

    5. Chris Wicks 1

      Re: Narkotikahunden

      "ANPR-assisted Customs dog Jim"

      I imagine something like this: http://a.abcnews.com/images/US/ht_gopro_fetch_harness_2_jc_140826_16x9_992.jpg

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "cameras being moved so they did not read plates, as well as other attempts to damage them including setting them on fire."

    There's also scope for a sort of crowd sourced DDOS attack. Make up flip books with number-plate fonts, each character being individually flippable and just show a rapid succession of randomly flipped "number plates" to the cameras. With a bit of extra planning the same number could be shown to widely separated cameras at more or less the same time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      With a bit of extra planning the same number could be shown to widely separated cameras at more or less the same time.

      IIRC the existing ANPR system copes with this perfectly well - primarily because of the problem of cloning and plate theft. And those participating in this scheme and unlucky enough to be caught would expect a short jail sentence and a longer driving ban, if we look at the UK examples of people convicted for displaying false plates.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        @Ledswinger

        you may want to re-read the post you replied to, I don't believe they were condoning the use of the 'flip book' whilst actually driving.

        I read it as someone holding up a screen with rapidly changing 'plates' to be read by the camera and f$ck up its data set.

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Probably won't work

      These camera's are usually triggered by induction loops in the road surface or some other system to measure a vehicle passing to trigger the camera at the correct time. Just flipping a flip book probably won't trigger the camera

      1. Paul Shirley

        Re: Probably won't work

        Riding a suitably tweaked bicycle while wearing a number plate t-shirt would probably work, and be totally legal.

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

          Re: Probably won't work

          How about a tricked out Aston Martin with revolving numberplates?

      2. W4YBO

        Re: Probably won't work

        "These camera's are usually triggered by induction loops in the road surface..."

        An electromagnet being switched on (used to) work wonders with "trip switch" traffic lights. I always hated working a late night (read: early morning) when I was riding my motorcycle. I'd have to plot a course home using mostly right turns because the lights wouldn't change for my ferrous-lite scooter. The only other cars on the streets at the time were cops waiting for me to run a red light that wouldn't change. So I wound what seemed like a mile of itty, bitty gauge magnet wire around a steel core, suspended the gizmo from the frame around eight inches above the pavement, and mounted a switch on my speedometer console. Worked great except for that one time I hit the switch, and all five road's lights stopped working. Dark. I don't know if I killed the lights, or if it was coincidence.

        If I had the same problem today, I'd just try a couple of supermagnets.

        1. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Re: Probably won't work

          Hm. At least here in the US there's a roadworks number to call with such problems. They even asked me to bring my bike if it was convenient for me, to help with the calibration.

          There's also a law saying if the bike waits through a couple lights and it's obvious it's broken, then it's legal to ignore it when safe to do so.

          OTOH, once I blocked a VERY busy left turn when the light ignored my bike, and I got an actual Sheriff's car to pull up and direct me through the light. That was years ago, though... and I was kind of being a dick by knowing it was a busy road and being content with being ignored.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Probably won't work

            OTOH, once I blocked a VERY busy left turn when the light ignored my bike, and I got an actual Sheriff's car to pull up and direct me through the light.

            Depends on the state law, I think, but same happened to me once, sort of. Turning left in my car and motorcycle in front of me wasn't heavy enough to trigger signal. Rider looked at me and made beckoning gesture, then I figured out the problem and advanced forward enough to trigger it for him.

          2. martinusher Silver badge

            Re: Probably won't work

            We've stopped using induction loops in favor of boom mounted cameras. They can see motorcycles without a problem. Currently the cameras are not hooked up to ANPR or SPECs type systems -- this is the USofA where these systems have unresolved legal issues -- but I'd guess they'd do it if they could.

        2. Muscleguy Silver badge

          Re: Probably won't work

          Back in the day in New Zealand they used weight plates. So there I would be late at night sitting my bike on the plate and bouncing up and down trying to trigger them. On one occasion I put the bike on the stand, walked to the lights and pressed the pedestrian button for the other way, walked back and had a wait of about a minute before the lights changed.

          They did also have early red light cameras. So best not to risk it.

    3. NonSSL-Login

      That reminds me of the picture floating on the internet where someone has made a cardboard number plate with ";Drop database table; --" or something in the hope the ANPR has an sql backend and would process the command :)

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Obligatory XKCD.

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Train crash Brexit

    It's already too late to get a system like that up and running in less than two years from now, especially if uk.gov just gives it to Crapita as they always do. Nobody will even know what they're designing for until it's agreed, which means there's even less time.

    1. thribb

      Re: Train crash Brexit

      if only we lumpenproletariat were smart enough to know the errors of our ways

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Train crash Brexit

        > if only we lumpenproletariat were smart enough to know the errors of our ways

        "Lumpenproletariat" is an improvement on the "racists and idiots" insult that Leave voters received after the referendum. :-)

        Similarly, UKIP "racists and fruit cakes" are now "sensible Conservative supporters" after they all voted Tory last week. ;-)

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Train crash Brexit

          Similarly, UKIP "racists and fruit cakes" are now "sensible Conservative supporters" after they all voted Tory last week. ;-)

          As long as they keep their racism and fruitcakery within the scope allowed by the Conservative Party, I'm sure their votes will continue to be welcome.

      2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Train crash Brexit

        Yes, if only.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Train crash Brexit

      I'm sure you a Norwegian company will sell the UK a solution, within the deadline.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Train crash Brexit

        Thats not how it works.

        One of the usual suspects will be awarded the contract for a huge amount of money, they then buy in (say) the Norwegian solution for a much smaller amount of money and declare that it needs tailoring to match the government's requirements, take 2 to 3 years to get it working again (if not as well as it did originally), and then bill for the overrun costs.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Take back control

    Time to stockpile the popcorn, this dog's breakfast should provide enough entertainment until the next decade.

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: Take back control

      "neighbours Sweden, an EU member, and Norway, which is not"

      But they're both in the Schengen Area so the cameras aren't enforcing the movement of people.

      The border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will have to be closed in order to implement the "take back control" bollocks, either that or they'll have to introduce immigration controls between NI and the rest of the UK to prevent Ireland becoming an unmonitored back door into the UK. It seems like this would be a backwards step for the peace process either way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Take back control

        I think they'll end up with controls between NI and the rest of the UK - easier to implement and also not covered by the Good Friday agreement (afaik).

  5. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge
    FAIL

    Sounds like a fairly nice system to me

    Nice if you want to indulge in a spot of smuggling, that is.

    All you need is an HGV and a set of false plates, preferably plates belonging to a vehicle that the authorities either trust already or will find difficult to check out.

    Quick, easy and simple and as long as you don't reuse the same plate too often or get caught physically changing the plates over, you ought to get away with the scam for quite a long time.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Sounds like a fairly nice system to me

      There's always the NI/RoI pig smuggling system to reintroduce.

      Export a lorryload of pigs one way through the official customs post, declare them, and claim EU farm subsidy.

      Take same pigs back across the border in the dead of night across an unmonitored minor road.

      Put them in another lorry and re-export the same pigs again, claiming another subsidy for the "new" export.

      Repeat

      Profit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sounds like a fairly nice system to me

        Put them in another lorry and re-export the same pigs again, claiming another subsidy for the "new" export.

        But what if the pigs tell the customs officials that they've already done that?

        1. Eltonga
          Joke

          Re: Sounds like a fairly nice system to me

          Sell the pigs to a slaughterhouse so they get to their well deserved fate. Cash. Redo from start.

  6. Ogi

    I don't think this will work here...

    ... for the same reason that adding cycle lanes and other rules and regulations didn't turn the UK into the Netherlands when it comes to cycle culture.

    The Nordics (at least based on my exposure to them) have a more homogenized culture, one that is very respectful of authority and obedience to rules and regulations. The Swedes in particular pride themselves on being "good citizens" in that sense.

    As a result just having a few cameras to monitor the situation and keep track of the odd nefarious outliers works fine.

    However the British isles have a more rebellious and anti-authoritarian culture historically, especially between the Brits, Scots and Irish. Not to mention a diverse set of peoples and cultures from around the entire world, all of whom have different attitudes to authority and rules.

    Mix that with some lucrative cross border booze/fag/other "business opportunities" and you have a recipe for bedlam. I highly doubt a couple of ANPR Cameras on backroads will stop a dedicated team of Glaswegians from shunting god knows what across the borders between the EU and May's "Tax haven Britain", let alone everything that may pass through Ireland and NI.

    Hell, I am sure in this very thread we will have a whole selection of methods for defeating this idea and getting whatever you want across the border, and this is just a casual public discussion between strangers.

    At this point however, it is happening, so we are all along for the ride in this train-wreck in waiting. Get some popcorn and enjoy the show :-)

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: I don't think this will work here...

      However the British isles have a more rebellious and anti-authoritarian culture

      Indeed - just see how quickly the comments on this article turned to the subject of how to fool to defeat the ANPR tech

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't think this will work here...

      "the Brits, Scots and Irish"

      Until such time as we Scots leave, we are Brits, as much as the English and the Welsh are. It's that kind of mindless ignorance that will help us achieve this.

      1. Jess

        Re: "the Brits, Scots and Irish"

        I'm not sure I agree with that being a valid example of the mindless ignorance you refer to.

        Britain (when not used as an abbreviation for Great Britain) means England and Wales.

        British (when used as a nationality) refers to UK nationals.

        British is likely to refer to those ruled over by Westminster, until such time as England stands alone.

        Until such time as the Scots leave, they are British.

        Scotland is part of Great Britain. (You'll be pleased that it is the difference between Britain and Great Britain)

        However the poster used an abbreviation, Brits, not British. The context makes it clear he was not referring to the British nationality, but the people of England and Wales.

        If we do go ahead with a hard brexit I really hope you get the chance not to go down with us, and I think Mrs May is being totally unfair expecting you to suffer the consequences of our decision, BEFORE you get a chance to leave.

        Though had indyref gone the other way, I think we would have gotten the wake-up call we needed, and would not now be facing a decades long lesson in humility.

        1. Snorlax

          Re: "the Brits, Scots and Irish"

          @Jess: Your nitpicking about countries and nationality was spoiled by the fact that you referred to Ireland as 'Eire' in your previous comment.

          When speaking in English, name of the country is Ireland, not the Republic of Ireland, not RoI and not Eire. The country is a republic, but that doesn't form part of the country name in the same way that France isn't called the Republic of France.

          If you wrote that comment in Irish, you would be semi-correct in using the name Eire. It's actually spelled Éire - notice the accent or fada on the first letter.

          The more you know....

    3. Spawn of Seaton

      Re: I don't think this will work here...

      It's less a case that Scandinavians are slavish followers of rules, more that they are nowhere near as alienated from government.

      1. CCCP

        Re: I don't think this will work here...

        @Spawn

        Indeed, moonshine is still a thing in the Scandi outback. Last crayfish party I was at, someone brought several 5L jerrycans labelled "singsong & violence"...

    4. Jess

      Re: I don't think this will work here...

      There is also the fact that Norway is part of the single market, this means that the only goods they are interested in would be those originating from outside the EEA, that are allowed into Norway by its own customs arrangements, and anything not covered by the single market (e.g agricultural products).

      Outside the EEA and customs union then everything would need to be controlled, including people who are not citizens of the British Isles.

      What is the point of (at the very least) decimating our economy and world influence, to 'control our borders' if the only people we currently don't 'control' can simply walk across the border?

      NI could remain within the customs union, and not block entry of EU citizens, and move the issue to the borders of Great Britain, but of course, that would be a special arrangement, and Scotland would be totally justified in demanding its own arrangement too.

      And of course what happens when Eire decides to join Schengen? The reason they didn't already was because it would mess up the border.

      Simply leaving the EU would reduce the the EU influence on us (and ours on it) to that which is needed by EEA membership. (It would probably reduce the international importance of the English language too.) It would not cause massive social or economic issues. This is what people were actually asked to vote on.

      However also leaving the EEA and the customs union, will be a disaster, economically and socially. With a margin of 2% it is not safe to infer that hard brexit is the 'will of the people' (i.e less that 1 in 26 leave voters wanted the wide pushed Norway model).

      At least after the election, the Tories will have a valid mandate for a hard brexit. (Assuming Labour keeps to its have your cake and eat it Brexit model, and also continues to fight the other opposition parties as well as the Tories.)

    5. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Re: I don't think this will work here...

      Possibly not Glaswegians. The border in the West is not ideal for this. The Solway Firth indents a long way you see and the roads around Glasgow are pretty well cameraed up.

      Be a bit easier to run it from Auld Reekie. Much better access to a lot of border. Best based just outside the bypass. Also there may not be a lot of formal roads across the Scottish borders but there are a plethora of 4wd farm tracks which do. You can get quite a lot of high value stuff on a ranger rover with a trailer. A backhander to the farmers on each side and Robert is your Mother's Brother.

  7. Red Bren

    Who is going to pay for all this?

    I assume it will be the UK taxpayer. Unless Chairman May goes all Trump and demands the Irish pay for a wall that they don't want.

    Or can we put a penny on income tax for leavers?

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

      Or can we put a penny on income tax for leavers?

      We are all leavers now. And the dawning understanding of what a bucket of smashed crabs the whole affair will be just might have something to do with the apparent coyness and reluctance of the Tories to include the same silly "no tax increases, guaranteed " manifesto commitment this time round. Instead they're blustering about being the party of lower taxes. They know perfectly well gov revenues will be falling fast at the same time as spending requirements are rapidly increasing, and as they've had this long term obsession with not running a budget deficit,.. there's only one way this is going to go.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

      I'm fully expecting Mayhem to bring in a tax on worldwide income for Brtiish expats. The cupboard is strong and stable but bare, nobody would give two fucks back in the UK, and the US does it so what's good enough for the US is good enough for the UK.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

        I'm fully expecting Mayhem to bring in a tax on worldwide income for Brtiish expats.

        Already covered by worldwide tax treaties which were in place before the EU ever existed, and have no connection to it. Any tax levied by the UK government on an expat is offset against tax paid wherever that person is fiscally resident. Expats already pay tax in the UK on certain UK income, and subtract it from the tax they'll pay in, say, Germany or France.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

          Indeed. My point was that British expats may be required to pay tax on foreign income like American expats are, given that the present government is so keen to throw them under a bus with regards to Brexit (their proposal to the EU was just convert the status of all EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU to ordinary foreign residents and say 'job done, let's talk about trade').

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

            Indeed. My point was that British expats may be required to pay tax on foreign income like American expats are

            But it wouldn't matter, any more than it does for US expats. The total tax paid is the same, it may just be distributed differently. The biggest hassle, as US expats are finding out, is the need to do all the extra paperwork.

            given that the present government is so keen to throw them under a bus with regards to Brexit their proposal to the EU was just convert the status of all EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU to ordinary foreign residents

            So? As long as we still retain the same status in the country where we're resident it won't change anything significant. I'm a UK expat living in the EU, I've not seen anything to worry me overmuch.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

              Take a look at the difference is between your EU treaty rights now and how foreign residents from outside the EU are treated wherever you are. You wouldn't have the same status where you're resident and you wouldn't have the same freedom to cross over EU borders (on holiday, on temporary work assignment, as a frontier worker, or moving to another EU country).

              1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

                Take a look at the difference is between your EU treaty rights now and how foreign residents from outside the EU are treated wherever you are. You wouldn't have the same status where you're resident and you wouldn't have the same freedom to cross over EU borders (on holiday, on temporary work assignment, as a frontier worker, or moving to another EU country).

                In practice there's little difference, at least for holiday and temporary work assignment. Once they have a local residence permit they are treated much as any EU citizen. They need their passport to travel within the EU (especially by air), they can't just use the residence permit the way a citizen would use a ational ID card, but that's little hardship. Moving to another EU country to live or work full-time would be different, they would have to apply for permission instead of having a right to just walk in and settle. I have no issue with that, should the situation arise. Even today there are many grey areas, for example, EU rules on free movement do not apply to Channel Islanders or Manxmen, since those islands are British dependencies but are not part of the UK or EU. Most EU countries ignore this, and accept CI or Manx passports as if they were full UK ones. There's little treason to expect that any Brexit settlement won't find a similar accommodation, it would cause too much trouble on both sides to do otherwise.

                1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                  Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

                  Will you be able to switch jobs as easily? Do employers have to prove they've exhausted all host and EU candidates before hiring you? Will you be able to set up a business as easily as an EU citizen? you aren't working, will you still be able to get healthcare and unemployment benefit? Are you sure that the UK part of your pension will rise with inflation? When you retire, who will pay for your healthcare for that part of your working life which you weren't resident in your host country? If you worked in mote than one EU country, will the rest pay your pension? Etc... etc...

                  I'm glad you're so confident about these things. Perhaps other people in the same situation are just getting bothered about nothing...

                  1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                    Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

                    Will you be able to switch jobs as easily? Do employers have to prove they've exhausted all host and EU candidates before hiring you?

                    Maybe, and why shouldn't they?

                    Will you be able to set up a business as easily as an EU citizen?

                    Probably not.

                    you aren't working, will you still be able to get healthcare and unemployment benefit?

                    Yes, those are tied to residency status and contributions paid.

                    Are you sure that the UK part of your pension will rise with inflation?

                    Yes, that is clear in the pension plan.

                    When you retire, who will pay for your healthcare for that part of your working life which you weren't resident in your host country?

                    If I qualify as a taxpaying resident then I will expect the same healthcare benefits as any other resident, of any citizenship.

                    If you worked in mote than one EU country, will the rest pay your pension?

                    Common misconception, that has nothing to do with the EU. The UK has treaties with many countries which allow time worked in those countries to be counted towards pensionable service. It's true that EU rules require all EU countries to have such arrangements, but lots of non-EU countries also have such arrangements. It would be foolish, and unlikely, for the UK not to maintain that arrangement with the EU. Even so, it only covers the basic state pension, all the earnings-related ones are still paid by the country where they were earned.

                    I'm glad you're so confident about these things. Perhaps other people in the same situation are just getting bothered about nothing...

                    Yes, I believe they are.

            2. Throatwobbler Mangrove

              Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

              "The total tax paid is the same, it may just be distributed differently. "

              Not if the level of tax the person is paying is lower than the UK rate of tax. Income tax in Russia is 13%; it's zero in the UAE; it's 0-39% in Florida (based on federal income tax); all of those rates are lower than in the U.K. Making people who don't live in the UK pay UK income tax could substantially increase their tax payments. If it didn't increase their tax obligations, there'd be no point in doing it because it wouldn't raise any money!

      2. tokyo-octopus

        Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

        I'm fully expecting Mayhem to bring in a tax on worldwide income for Brtiish expats. The cupboard is strong and stable but bare, nobody would give two fucks back in the UK, and the US does it so what's good enough for the US is good enough for the UK.

        And don't we all know this will cost more in IT cockups to implement than it will ever bring in revenue?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

      "Or can we put a penny on income tax for leavers?"

      Only a penny? Also if they're not keen on freedom of movement, that's fine, they are not allowed to move in search of work either.

      The real money raiser though would be any politician than does not stick to manifesto commitments can be ordered to return salary/expenses paid from the day they entered parliament/assembly/council.

    4. BeardyOldUnixGit

      Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

      I am confused as to why anyone thinks the UK will need to pay for any such border controls for goods post-Brexit. Unless we are complete idiots and decide to make things more expensive for ourselves for no good reason, that is.

      Right now stuff can go from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland without having to pay customs charges. Why would we want to change that? Why would we arbitrarily make it more expensive for ourselves to get hold of these goods by taxing ourselves on them?

      Now, if the E.U. demands that the Republic of Ireland place an import duty on goods crossing the other way, that is a different matter and, of course, their decision to make. And one would imagine the Republic of Ireland would be looking at getting some extra cash from Brussels to help pay for all that. Or they would all collectively decide not to bother, or declare that it's happening but never actually do it, which is a pretty common political fudge.

      Demanding a border at which to apply something like their 30% tariff on Cocoa Powder is the E.U.'s problem, not that of the UK. If your neighbour decides to pour rocks into their harbour to obstruct incoming trade vessels, you do not make yourself richer by also pouring rocks into your own harbour.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

        Why would the tax be distributed differently but remain the same? I can't see any of the EU 27 willing to subsidize the UK.

        Even if the UK doesn't charge tariffs on imports from the EU, there still has to be an element of cooperation. The UK has to show where goods exported to the EU came from so they can be checked and the right tariffs can be charged on the EU side, otherwise the EU will just charge the highest tariff it can and/or seize goods.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

          Why would the tax be distributed differently but remain the same?

          Because that's how tax treaties work. What they lose in one direction they expect to (approximately) get back in the other.

          To give you a concrete example, I have investments in the US which are taxed at source, 17% federal tax is deducted before I get the money. In my local tax jurisdiction that sort of income is taxed at 30%, so when I complete my tax form I declare the income, and that I have already paid 17% tax in the US. My local tax authorities only take the 'missing' 13% to reach their 30% total. My total tax burden is the same. If the numbers were reversed I would have a 13% tax credit to apply against other local income of that sort.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

        BeardyOldUnixGit: "Why would we arbitrarily make it more expensive for ourselves to get hold of these goods by taxing ourselves on them?"

        As long as you understand doing that without a bilateral agreement opens the UK to WTO action forcing the same zero tariff for every WTO member, at every UK customs border. With no obligation to reciprocate from them. Without reciprocity free trade doesn't mean much and seeking deals becomes pointless.

        There will be some sort of bilateral fudge for Ireland and the EU & UK will have to concede something to get it. The UK has more to lose from renewed hostilities than the EU, a weak negotiating hand in Mays terms.

        1. oxfordmale78

          Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

          You are a traitor, not respecting the will of the people. We are going to have our strong and stable leader May negotiate a strong and stable trade deal with every strong and stable country in the world and it shall be good.

          1. Eltonga

            Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

            You are a traitor, not respecting the will of the people. We are going to have our strong and stable leader May negotiate a strong and stable trade deal with every strong and stable country in the world and it shall be good strong and stable.

            FTFY

        2. Dave Schofield

          Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

          >As long as you understand doing that without a bilateral agreement opens the UK to WTO action forcing the same zero tariff for every WTO member, at every UK customs border. With no obligation to reciprocate from them. Without reciprocity free trade doesn't mean much and seeking deals becomes pointless.

          I've tried asking this in other places, but either get ignored or a jingoist answer that ignores facts but the audience on here is usually more knowledgeable than some other parts of the web. Does anyone know:

          a) How long it will take to disentangle the UK WTO schedules from the EU schedules. At the moment, we are a member as part of the EU, so our "share" is part of the overall EU "share". It took five years for Bulgaria and Romania to merge theirs with the EU, so are we looking at a similar timeframe?

          b). What happens to cross-border trade if we leave the EU customs union on 31/3/19 and then do not have our own WTO tariffs/schedules in place? Can we even import/export during the cross-over period, or are there draconian tariffs slapped on by default (working on the assumption that international trade outside the WTO and other trade agreements is frowned upon)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

            b). What happens to cross-border trade if we leave the EU customs union on 31/3/19 and then do not have our own WTO tariffs/schedules in place?

            We automatically go onto the WTO default, which IIRC is 12% tarif in general (no doubt there are exceptions). Not draconian.

      3. strum Silver badge

        Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

        >Demanding a border at which to apply something like their 30% tariff on Cocoa Powder is the E.U.'s problem, not that of the UK.

        It's a bit of a problem for a UK Cocoa Powder seller - who is undercut by smuggled choccie goodness. It's also a problem if said seller has developed an all-Ireland trade, whose volume supports a UK choccie factory.

      4. oxfordmale78

        Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

        Unfortunately it doesn't work this way. As Brexit always ask for sources, but never supply one themselves, Google how cocoa imports are currently handled from countries like Brazil and Indonesia.

    5. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken
    6. Robin

      Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

      Mexico will, of course.

    7. kmac499

      Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

      Mexico.....!!!

      OOps sorry; wrong wall.

  8. LDS Silver badge

    Norway is in EFTA and Schengen...

    ... and that makes border controls easier. With Britain outside of both (and especially if ir will deny freedom of movement), border controls will need to be far different.

    Cameras are just a technical solution, Britain instead needs a political one, and a lot of it depends on what Parliament will come out from the upcoming elections.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Norway is in EFTA and Schengen...

      May will sweep to victory as the vast majority of newspapers are telling people she is perfection and the rest are just pure evil.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Norway is in EFTA and Schengen...

        @ Lost all faith...

        "May will sweep to victory as the vast majority of newspapers are telling people she is perfection and the rest are just pure evil."

        Thats not quite how I am seeing it. It is the problem of no opposition. Of all of the parties there are 2 who do not ignore the reality of brexit- Tory and UKIP. Unfortunately (and I really do mean that) UKIP seem to be coming apart even though they were the only ones with a coherent plan to leave.

        The liberal democrats are standing to remove democracy and dictate what is right. Labour want a vote on the outcome of the negotiations where a rejection gives the other side everything and us nothing (clueless is not a strong enough word).

        This could be an amazing opportunity for any party to become an opposition by accepting brexit and offering choice of how to run the country outside the EU. What a missed opportunity.

    2. John Styles

      Re: Norway is in EFTA and Schengen...

      If by 'and this makes border controls easier' you mean 'means that this situation is not in one iota comparable with what we will need so this article is utterly beside the point' I agree.

      1. Graham Dawson

        Re: Norway is in EFTA and Schengen...

        Glad to see someone else got here with this.

        Of course, if we join the EEA/EFTA as a transitional step while we sort out wherever it is we're going in the long term, we could actually make use of such a system. This is of course assuming that May and the Wallbangers are not nearly as dense as they currently appear to be and that, after the election, May will use her larger majority to reduce the power of the "hard brexit" morons, shoot Davis in the foot he has jammed in his mouth and fire Boris out of a cannon into the sun.

        All is for the best in this the best of all possible worlds.

    3. russthegibbon

      Re: Norway is in EFTA and Schengen...

      Exactly. Although it's interesting to hear about the Norway/Sweden system, it's not going to be any use on a border that *has* to be 100% "hard". In May's version of the future there can be no more free movement of people between the UK and the EU (and therefore Ireland), so everyone crossing will need to be stopped and their documents checked. The only reason the government isn't coming out and admitting this is that they want to kick the can as far down the road as possible in the hope that some act of god turns it into someone else's problem.

      1. Ray Foulkes

        Re: Norway is in EFTA and Schengen...

        I cross the border between France and England via Eurotunnel frequently. On the way OUT of the UK I have to provide details of each person in ADVANCE in my car. Passports are scrutinised and I suspect logged by British Border control. French border control sometimes glance at them. On the way IN to the UK, once again the French border control might glance, but the British border control spends time scrutinising in detail each passport and person and sometimes asks questions of where you have been.

        I guess once Brexit is in place, the French border controls might take a tiny bit more interest, but apart from detaining and searching you for half an hour out of spite, it is harder to see how much more the UK border controls could do. Of course, I am a middle class Lancastrian, heterosexual, old, white, male, car driver (horrors - diesel) and householder so am a prime target for the UK authorities.

    4. 9Rune5

      Re: Norway is in EFTA and Schengen...

      Keep in mind that

      * entering Norway you are only allowed to bring 5 liters of alcoholic beverages (less when hard liquors are involved)

      * ...and 200 cigarettes (which costs around £100 in Norway)

      So there is a huge incentive for normal citizens to become smugglers as they cross back into Norway. Unlike drugs, cheap beer is not frowned upon amongst the general populace. We all know someone who "takes a little extra".

      But, Norway is only 5 million souls. Britain is slightly bigger. And who knows what EU will do with whatever border they share with Britain.

      1. Graham Dawson

        Re: Norway is in EFTA and Schengen...

        Those restrictions are imposed by Norway, not the EU. I don't doubt that the EU will impose some duty on personal imports from the UK, but I suspect that our government will be very keen in imposing strict restrictions and high duties on individual imports, both for the revenue and to satisfy the increasingly moralistic anti-pleasure tendencies of successive governments.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And this tackles people who cycle or walk past ...

    how exactly ?

    1. Piers

      Re: And this tackles people who cycle or walk past ...

      Well, bar codes on people will become mandatory...

      1. Simon Ward
        Big Brother

        Re: And this tackles people who cycle or walk past ...

        Well, bar codes on people will become mandatory...

        For fuck's sake, don't give them any more ideas - the Lizard Queen will be fizzing at the bunghole at the prospect of being able to get away with something like that.

    2. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: And this tackles people who cycle or walk past ...

      People who cycle or walk aren't carrying tonnes of taxable goods[1]. Conventional borders can be crossed on foot away from the roads: I've done quite a few myself in the Alps between Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany[2].

      [1] Though they could still be carrying enough in high-value goods to get rich. Jewels, drugs, etc. That is, if the markets either side of a border were to diverge.

      [1] Not France. Holidays are for relaxing, and it's a whole lot less relaxing when I don't speak the local language.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: And this tackles people who cycle or walk past ...

        Brings a literal meaning to 'drug mules'.

        mules/horses can carry a lot more than a human. Better still, a Camel Train winding its way into Scotland using bridleways.

        Better start desiging a 21st Century Hadrian's Wall. Once Scotland becomes 'leavers' of the UK, the little englanders will want to stop them coming south.

        Personally, I hope not but once the Express and Mail (And probably the Sun) start to whip up public opinion, there is no telling what is gonna happen.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And this tackles people who cycle or walk past ...

          Better start designing a 21st Century Hadrian's Wall

          http://starecat.com/make-rome-great-again-rebuild-hadrians-wall-caesar-like-donald-trump-cosplay/

      2. LDS Silver badge

        "Conventional borders can be crossed on foot away from the roads"

        That's how most of the contraband between Italy and Switzerland worked... and still works when needed. Of course the border guards tried to identify which were the used paths, and catch them.

      3. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: And this tackles people who cycle or walk past ...

        "People who cycle or walk aren't carrying tonnes of taxable goods[1]. "

        Bicycle full of mercury?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And this tackles people who cycle or walk past ...

      Ah, the old skool trick ...

      I find myself wondering how the mad drive by governments to make law-enforcement c̶h̶e̶a̶p̶e̶r̶ hi-tech will all end.

      Quite aside from the fact that most dodgy-types (be they criminals, or whatever "terrorists" are this week) won't be packing the latest tech anyway, the incompatibility of new and old means that generally, you can only do one.

      So fine, knock yourself out with your massive data-slurp and crackable encryption. But don't act surprised when things happen that were planned by handwritten letters using a book code. (Which, incidentally can be updated to the current age by graffiti in shot of a webcam ...)

      So in this case, plough all the money into ANPR ...

    4. phuzz Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: And this tackles people who cycle or walk past ...

      As the article notes, the Irish border goes through people's houses in some cases, so technically you could be done for smuggling just for walking from the kitchen to the front room with a glass of booze.

      1. Peter Ford

        Re: And this tackles people who cycle or walk past ...

        In cases where a village is bisected by the border, we could do what happens in many european places (e.g. Samnaun in Switzerland/Austria) or elsewhere in the world: put the border around both sides of the village and turn the village into a tax-free shopping paradise...

        Another interesting thing about the CH/AT border - you can kayak/canoe across the border on the river En/Inn. It's a serious piece of whitewater and at the bottom of a deep gorge, which is probably why the border meets the river there...

      2. DropBear Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: And this tackles people who cycle or walk past ...

        "you could be done for smuggling just for walking from the kitchen to the front room with a glass of booze."

        That's ok, they'll just install one of 'em "supermarket anti-theft frames" on the living room door for border tax purposes, and they'll forbid removing the tag from the bottle even once bought...

  10. tiggity Silver badge

    Brexit related costs

    Given we only ahve illusion of secret ballots, how about (if they have not already done so) linking up who voted remain and who voted leave / did not vote.

    If there is a big economic cost to brexit, then taxes could be hiked on those who voted leave (as to non voters, whether they are treated same as remainers or pay some lesser surcharge as their intent was unknown but might have been brexit)

    A Leave voter should be happy with that idea - if brexit turns out not be the the joyous wonderland described by Farage, Johnson, Gove etc, but is instead a big economic downturn, then those who voted for it ought to be the ones paying extra to compensate.

    1. Bob Rocket

      Re: Brexit related costs - I agree with tiggity

      Leave EU voters should pay more tax.

      Non voters should be shipped to Scotland and be forced to build the wall.

      Remain EU voters should be shipped across the Channel (to enjoy French taxation rates).

      That way everybody is happy.

    2. Old Tom

      Re: Brexit related costs

      And with the forthcoming General Election?

      i.e. Should Labour win, then only those who voted Labour would have to pay Corbyn's new taxes, only Labour voting energy company/rail/whatever workers have to lose their job/transfer to the state? etc.

  11. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Does this work, anyway?

    I didn't see much evidence in the article that the Scans can prove their system is actually working.

  12. Mage Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Norway <-> Sweden

    Norway <-> Sweden likely will not apply as Norway <-> EU both allows free movement of EU people and most goods.

    N.I. will be a hard border harder than 1922 to 1993.

    If Scotland rejoins the Eu, it will be the same.

    The only people in all of EU that believe in an Ireland <-> N.I. Soft border are the Conservatives. The DUP don't believe it (they WANT a hard border).

    The only way there can be a soft Ireland <-> N.I border is if there is a hard border between N.I. and UK. Unionists would not like that. I'd not entirely rule out May offering that to EU / Ireland.

    Also when was last time UK did a major IT project successfully?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Norway <-> Sweden

      N.I. will be a hard border harder than 1922 to 1993.

      So, not very hard at all, then?

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Norway <-> Sweden

        Also the EU decides, not May.

        So UK can have cameras and no other checks on traffic into N.I. Ireland will have to check every vehicle. There will be miles of tail backs and all the minor roads closed.

        They will have to build a border fence. Like between EU countries and non-EU ones in the East.

  13. sebt
    Thumb Up

    Very interesting...

    ... and it sounds like a sensible, efficient solution to the problem.

    For that reason, though, it's just not going to fly in Britain. This Scandinavian system relies on self-declaration of goods, with intelligent and targeted spot checks to deter evasion.

    That just doesn't fit with the British tradition of the last few decades, which is to treat _everyone_ as if they're hardworking enough to manage to be a people-smuggler, drugs smuggler, terrorist and illegal immigrant all at the same time.

    This system is also focused on goods, not people. And it's the movement of people which is the great trumpeting main theme of the Brexit bullshit. I can imagine the UK government turning a blind eye to smuggling of goods into the (Scottish part of the) EU - how else is trade going to happen? But an open border, which smelly _people_ can just walk across - no way! Paul Dacre's head would explode with fury.

    Which is actually a major plus point for this kind of border.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Very interesting...

      And completely irrelevant, because both are part of the EFTA Free Trade area and so do not in fact have much in the way of customs and excise.

      It's the same as Switzerland.

      ANPR probably works quite well when the only thing you really care about is catching known thieves as they cross borders.

  14. MJI Silver badge

    What a hassle

    Anyway I thought this vote was to leave the EU, not leave customs union, nor single market, nor ECHR.

    But this lot of jokers have decided we are.

    But the British are like the internet, makes things more expensive or more difficult and we will work around it.

    1. LDS Silver badge
      Facepalm

      "Anyway I thought this vote was to leave the EU, not leave customs union, nor single market"

      Did someone there really believed you could leave the EU and retain the common market? You may have failed to notice that the ECC - "the Common Market" - transformed itself in the EC first in 1993, and then into EU in 2009.

      After all, to be part of a "common market" you need to abide to the "common rules" which allow it to work. The EU regulations Britons abhorred and voted against are there exactly for that reason. Sure, some are stupid and some are very lobby-oriented (it happens even in single states...), but without a common framework you can't have a common market and common customs. Countries in EEA still need to abide to a lot of EU legislation.

      It would have been correct that the Brexit supporters had indicated clearly what was their plan after leaving the EU, and how much feasible it was. You can't really expect other states to give you all the advantages without any of the disadvantages of participating in a single market.

      1. Graham Dawson

        Re: "Anyway I thought this vote was to leave the EU, not leave customs union, nor single market"

        The regulations that allow the common market to function are only a small fraction of the rules that govern the EU, and most of those regulations originate at the international level anyway. Neither is the Single Market an invention of the EU, but rather is part of the EEA agreement. The EU is simply a member of it along with all other EEA/EFTA members.

        EFTA/EEA members can act independently in trade with other nations instead of having to abide by the common position of the EU and they also aren't bound by the decisions of the ECJ. There is a great deal of voluntary compliance with the ECJ, but the fact that it's voluntary is entirely the point: the EFTA/EEA is not politically bound to "ever closer union".

        The EU and EEA were parallel developments, with the EEA being a development of the activities of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, a body devoted solely to abolishing trade barriers between european nations without any pretence of political integration. The EU coopted that aim, but the fact that we're now arguing about the return of trade barriers between the UK and the EU shows that it isn't really interested in facilitation of trade, but instead in the protection of internal markets from the outside world.

        The EU was a mistake. It took what was a good idea - economic integration and trade facilitation through common standards - and mixed in trade protectionism and political integration within a common border. It is recreating at the edge of the Union the same protectionist attitude that the EEA was established to abolish.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "Neither is the Single Market an invention of the EU"

          European Union predates EFTA - it was born sixty years ago (you may have missed the celbration in Rome, where the original treaty was signed), three years before EFTA, and has its roots in ECSC, created some years before. The EEA agreement will come much later.

          http://www.efta.int/about-efta/history

          You have a very narrow and outdated view of EEA/EFTA - which is no longer just a free trade area for goods only. Check, for example, what is one of the core requirements of EEA/EFTA, now:

          http://www.efta.int/eea/policy-areas/persons

          Isn't this the very thing brexiters voted against?

          It's UK that decided to leave the common market and custom union because it didn't like the other freedoms inside the EU space, so what should EU do? Give unrestricted access to UK while UK wants to restrict access - even those which are required by EEA/EFTA?

          Good luck, if you think to join EEA/EFTA, also...

          1. Graham Dawson

            Re: "Neither is the Single Market an invention of the EU"

            I didn't say the eea came first, I said that the eu (then eec) coopted the stated goals of the unece, from which the eea/efta later emerged, and added an unnecessary element of political union.

            None of what you say changes the simple facts: the eu and the single market are not synonymous and the eu is a protectionist organisation.

            1. LDS Silver badge

              Re: "Neither is the Single Market an invention of the EU"

              No, you're creating alternative facts. UNECE (Germany, a founder of ECC, joined it in 1973 only!) has nothing to do with ECSC and ECC, even if they may have had some common obvious goals. C'mon, do you believe something led by communist Yugoslavia from 1960 to 1982, and with Russia among the members, had such plans?

              ECC and then EU was and is a much more ambitious plan, you may not like it, but Europe would have been a far worse place without it.

              EFTA was mostly an answer to ECC, limited to money matters. It's no surprise many EFTA members left it to join ECC and EU later.

              But feel free to rewrite History as needed, it's a fashionable entertainment, these days.

              1. Graham Dawson

                Re: "Neither is the Single Market an invention of the EU"

                It's like talking to a bloody brick wall with you.

                The UNECE was established in 1947 with the stated aim of encouraging economic integration between the nations of Europe, which was believed to be a way to prevent future war. Generally speaking, greater economic integration does reduce the likelihood of war between participants.

                The ECSC was established in 1950, with the stated aim of preventing war through political integration, by ensuring that each member had to rely on other members for material goods.

                I stated that the EEA/EFTA emerged from the stated goals and the efforts of the UNECE. This is a fact. All your muddying the water with when particular nations joined the ECE or switched from the EFTA to the EU, and putting words in my mouth doesn't change this fact.

                I certainly agree that the EU is a more ambitious plan. It is ambitious to want to create and enforce resource interdependence between states. It is ambitious to increasingly bypass national legislatures and remove their ability to create their own laws over wider and wider swathes of policy. It is ambitious to create a protectionist border against the outside world while dumping internal surpluses at below market rates on north africa, driving local farmers and fishermen out of business and creating a huge immigration issue.

                Ambitious is not synonymous with better.

                1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                  Re: "Neither is the Single Market an invention of the EU"

                  "It is ambitious to create a protectionist border against the outside world while dumping internal surpluses at below market rates on north africa, driving local farmers and fishermen out of business and creating a huge immigration issue."

                  Of course! Brexit is in response to the unfair treatment of third world countries! Why didn't I realise that?

                  rUK will now save said third world. Boris at the front of the effort, naturally.

                  1. Graham Dawson

                    Re: "Neither is the Single Market an invention of the EU"

                    Why must you insist on reading things that simply aren't there? If you can point to anything I wrote that plainly states "brexit is a response to unfair treatment of third-world countries" I'll give you a thousand pounds. Cash.

                    My argument was against the concept of the EU in general, not one of why the UK chose to leave in particular. Perhaps you should spend less time strawmanning everyone who disagrees with you and more time engaging with the actual arguments that have been made.

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: What a hassle

      @ MJI

      "Anyway I thought this vote was to leave the EU, not leave customs union, nor single market, nor ECHR."

      It is a shame but then the EU are being gits about it. Either we are in the EU 100% or we are out 100%. It is their dictating of the terms and quite rightly we are walking away. The EU thinks the worst it can threaten us with is no deal, yet the worst deal we can get is to be trapped in the EU.

      "But the British are like the internet, makes things more expensive or more difficult and we will work around it."

      That is true and not just of brits. The EU had some fantasy dream that they would steal our financial sector in some glorious achievement. Then they went quiet as offices in the EU got a new status and nothing really moved anywhere. On the plus side it does mean costs will go down where we can trade with the rest of the world and without the cartel tariffs we are currently forced to impose.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: What a hassle

        "The EU had some fantasy dream that they would steal our financial sector in some glorious achievement."

        Brexiters have some fantasy dream that they are going to imprison the financial sector within the rUK borders. Yeah, that's really gonna happen.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: What a hassle

          @ anonymous boring coward

          "Brexiters have some fantasy dream that they are going to imprison the financial sector within the rUK borders"

          Wow thats a new claim, kudo's for thinking that one up. I am guessing you believe that because the EU has been shouting how they will take the financial sector and lock us out while we sit back and laugh at their failure to understand it is not for the gov's to dictate this stuff? The only ones who think it is a ball to pick up and run off with seem to be the EU/remainers.

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: What a hassle

            It's simple logic. Do you think the financial sector is going to stay in the UK twiddling their thumbs with no customers?

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: What a hassle

              @ anonymous boring coward

              "It's simple logic. Do you think the financial sector is going to stay in the UK twiddling their thumbs with no customers?"

              I think the scariest part of that statement is that you think the largest financial centre in the world will suddenly have no customers because the EU gets a little uppity. However your belief in such a scenario does explain why you seem to fear leaving the EU. I will point out that such a belief is not logical.

              1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                Re: What a hassle

                The sector has already started adjusting, and will keep doing so. Like everything else in old Blighty things will shrink down to fit the self inflicted reduced market share. Have you purposefully avoided reading the news?

                And, oh yes, the situation with NY is this: Before London had the advantage of being in the EU. Now London doesn't have that advantage over NY. Get it?

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: What a hassle

                  @ anonymous boring coward

                  "And, oh yes, the situation with NY is this: Before London had the advantage of being in the EU. Now London doesn't have that advantage over NY. Get it?"

                  So your claiming the EU will be accepting NY when?

      2. LDS Silver badge

        "The EU had some fantasy dream that they would steal our financial sector"

        Not only EU:

        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/11/business/dealbook/brexit-uk-london-banking.html

        Do you really believe a part of it won't be lost because it can't fulfill requirements to operate in EU? They aren't of course running - yet - because they're waiting to see what will happen and how to adapt - because it costs money. But as soon as the outcome of the negotiates will be clear, they won't wait.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: "The EU had some fantasy dream that they would steal our financial sector"

          @ LDS

          "Do you really believe a part of it won't be lost because it can't fulfill requirements to operate in EU?"

          Amusing yet irrelevant. I like the suggestion that London could lose out to its long term rival New York (last I checked not in the EU). This is where the EU has the choice to either be global facing and international, or carry through their threat of cutting off London and be a laughing stock. And while we may lose a little of small numbers of whatever to the EU quite simply their pathetic threat of buggering up London out of spite was defused when offices changed status and woohoo suddenly the financial market still functions in London and the EU.

          "They aren't of course running - yet - because they're waiting to see what will happen and how to adapt - because it costs money"

          They are adapting. And if we leave the EU to run ahead with fun schemes like limiting bonuses and FTT then the EU will have less banking there. This doom is forever coming and never arriving. I assume people are just waiting for the next recession in the business cycle to cry 'LOOK! LOOK! SEE! We left the EU and now DOOOOOOOOOOMMMMEEEEEDDD!!!! AHHHHH'. Of course the Euro will probably fall over at that point or more countries sacrificed to save it as has already happened.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "The EU had some fantasy dream that they would steal our financial sector"

            "LOOK! LOOK! SEE! We left the EU and now DOOOOOOOOOOMMMMEEEEEDDD!!!! AHHHHH'."

            Well, the Brexit vote did wonders for the value of the Pound, didn't it?

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: "The EU had some fantasy dream that they would steal our financial sector"

              @AC

              "Well, the Brexit vote did wonders for the value of the Pound, didn't it?"

              Yes it did. It is wonderful how the pound was overvalued and needed to come down before the referendum. Then the referendum was announced and suddenly a falling currency is a bad thing. Other things being inflation, interest rates back to normal and house price control being advertised as bad by the remain campaign while it has been the single goal of the gov and BoE for almost a decade.

          2. LDS Silver badge

            Re: "The EU had some fantasy dream that they would steal our financial sector"

            You miss the fact the largest economy in EU is not UK, it's Germany, and France is the same size as UK. Once UK loses the advantages of being in EU, many things in the financial sector can't simply work as before. Look at Switzerland, it also had to accept a treaty with EU (limiting, for example, its bank secret), or risk to be cut out. There's also a reason why the stock exchanges merger was blocked.

            Financial institutions are not stupid, and unlike politicians, they spend their own and investors money (and investors, unlike taxpayers, can easily move elsewhere), so are less keen on doing stupid things just to assert their power, boards don't get re-elected if they lose money.

            Of course London won't lose everything, but a good slice of business will probably go elsewhere. Otherwise, why would have they voted to stay? And wasn't exactly to punish that elite that outside London they voted to exit?

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: "The EU had some fantasy dream that they would steal our financial sector"

              @ LDS

              "You miss the fact the largest economy in EU is not UK, it's Germany, and France is the same size as UK."

              Yeah that really does cause problems for Greece doesnt it as the Euro is undervalued for Germany (QE to deal with the pesky recession) so as the Euro falls Germany pushes it back up and Greece continues to suffer. Are you arguing for a further reduction of our currency?

              "Once UK loses the advantages of being in EU, many things in the financial sector can't simply work as before"

              Well said. Ditch the EU regulations and we can rejoin the REST OF THE WORLD. And the financial sector has already circumvented the EU imposed problems.

              "Financial institutions are not stupid, and unlike politicians"

              The EU found that out didnt they.

              "Otherwise, why would have they voted to stay? And wasn't exactly to punish that elite that outside London they voted to exit?"

              Sticking up for the bankers. I remember a time that would raise a lot of down votes and angry comments.

  15. Gene Cash Silver badge

    US/Canada border used to be "soft" too

    Until the Homeland Security guys turned out to be such assholes. Now it's "PAPERZ PLEAZE! JA!" just like everywhere else.

    It used to be "why are you entering <country>?" and as long as the answer wasn't "smuggling drugs" or "planning to assassinate <head of state>" then they let you through. Not any more.

  16. katrinab Silver badge

    The other problem is this

    If you are a farmer in Northern Ireland, and want to sell your food to England, the quickest route is to drive down the M1 to Dublin, take a ferry to North Wales, then drive across to the distribution depots in the West Midlands. From there the supermarkets take it to our local shops. That is the route they usually take. The other route, ferry from Belfast to Scotland, then drive down the M74/M6 takes a lot longer.

    If you want to get from one part of Ireland to another, or from one part of Northern Ireland to another, then sometimes the quickest route take you across the border. You can easily find direct routes where you cross the border four times along the way.

  17. Stuart Grout

    Bigger problem for EU than UK.

    The volume of goods that we would apply a tariff to coming from Ireland or Scotland is likely to be negligible as May is looking for a free trade future.

    The EU loves high import tariffs as a way of protecting it's frequently failing industries.

    Seems to be to the UK's advantage to mostly leave the movement of goods be unrestricted and let the EU try and work out how to maintain their tariff system.

    1. Jess

      Re: Bigger problem for EU than UK.

      I sort of agree. The EU will be concerned about goods traveling across the border, while Britain will be worried about people crossing. (It's the whole point of brexit, apparently).

      Britain provides mainly services, for which physical borders are not really relevant. (But being outside the legal framework that allows us to provide then, will be).

      Our currency is reduced in value, meaning those exports are cheaper, meaning the EU will be even keener to insist on decent border control to ensure tariffs are paid.

      All this fuss, just to save child benefit going abroad to a few polish kids, (and surely it would have been easier just to require the kids benefiting to be within the UK?)

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Bigger problem for EU than UK.

      May may look at what she likes, but UK isn't going to get "free trade" without giving anything back. Both Merkel and Macron were quite clear about it, and Juncker too. Other states inside EU as well are just looking at how they can gain from agencies and businesses moving away from UK

      And after all, wasn't the Brexit just an attempt to protect from foreigners as well?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bigger problem for EU than UK.

      The EU loves high import tariffs as a way of protecting it's frequently failing industries.

      Seems to be to the UK's advantage to mostly leave the movement of goods be unrestricted and let the EU try and work out how to maintain their tariff system.

      Apart from the Uk trying to sell goods to Europe, of course.

  18. Suricou Raven

    Soft border?

    Everyone wants a soft border. But the single biggest issue driving the leave vote was immigration - legal, illegal, and asylum. If you have a soft border, how is that going to change? Anyone wanting to sneak into the country need only get themselves as far as the RoI as a visitor and can then simply stroll across the border. Ferry to the mainland after optional. The pro-exit forces are going to be very unhappy when they realise just how easy it remains to get in.

    1. Jess

      Re: just how easy it remains to get in.

      I think it will get far easier.

      The EU will have no incentive to prevent people leaving its borders.

      We will be financially pressed, and unlikely to spend enough to do the job properly. We already don't and then put the blame on the EU rules.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Soft border?

      >But the single biggest issue driving the leave vote was immigration - legal, illegal, and asylum.

      If immigration was the biggest issue behind the Brexit vote then the root cause was the failure of the person in charge of immigration to control it for the six years prior to the vote. In fact, two of the four highest years for immigration *ever* were completely under the control of that person, and six months of the joint third were under her control. Cutting back on customs officials and border enforcement obviously didn't help to take an accurate view on the levels of immigration either.

      The price for her consistent failure to meet the Conservative manifesto commitments on immigration was promotion to the top job, where again she failed to do anything about it even after deciding that immigration was the cause of the vote, *except* declare war on Tourism - http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/prime-minister-theresa-may-wants-uk-to-lead-world-in-preventing-tourism-in-embarrassing-campaign-a3523721.html

  19. endorendil

    Single market, low crime

    Those are the things the Norway-Sweden border has that the NI border doesn't. Because both sides are in the single market, to export from Norway to Sweden you only have to provide "rules of origin" documentation, which essentially proves that the goods were mainly made in Norway. British products will also have to provide proof that the goods conform to EU regulations, which is then randomly tested.

    Ulster regrettably still has functioning criminal cross-border groups, which currently eke out a living trafficking diesel. There is no doubt that there will be more opportunities after Brexit, and we can expect a resurgence of these criminal networks, covered - as before - by the flag of unification and drenched in ethnoreligious patriotism.

  20. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Boffin

    ANPR? Easily defeated

    Obligatory James Bond clip:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUG1GexVz2k

  21. RyszrdG

    Lateral thinking required ...

    Of course the answer is to bring Ireland into the UK rather than cede NI. Oh shit - didn't we try this some time ago?

  22. Herby Silver badge

    Weird picture...

    Is it just me or did someone else see the opening picture and think that the camera box was an overturned truck lorry on the side of the road.

    I must be thinking weird thoughts.

  23. Andus McCoatover

    Erm, am I just a bit soft in the head...

    ...but anyone with a printer could just make a fake number plate to tape over the real one?

    (Sigh). Problems with automation...

  24. DrXym Silver badge

    Here's a better idea

    Don't leave the customs union. It's stupid and self-defeating. It just causes extra red tape for government & businesses, delays at borders (even with "light touch" systems), increases smuggling, decreases trade & travel across land borders, and provides little to no benefit in return.

  25. martinusher Silver badge

    As usual, ignore the obvious

    The way to fix the Northern Ireland border problem is to admit that the six counties are part of Ireland and just incorporate them into Eire with whatever safeguards are necessary to convince the Untionists that they're really part of the UK, sort of. The fixes would include allowing UK currency to be used in the north, similar VAT rates in both areas and the non-application of Church driven laws in the north. This stuff should be a whole lot easier to work out than trying to police the border. (...and anyway, you've effectively got a hard border between N.Ireland and the rest of the UK since the Troubles)

  26. Boohoo4u

    What are they going to do when we have flying cars?

  27. ITnoob

    So the Scandinavian system works efficiently and is cost effective. This 100% guarantees that UK gov will totally ignore it and bodge together a proprietary heap of junk for 4 times the price. Kerching!

  28. Eduard Coli

    United Ireland

    It is really too bad that Brexit is going to split Ireland even more.

    Why can't Blighty give up NI?

  29. Pax681

    "But if Scots vote for independence in a second referendum demanded by Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, then this remote road and around 20 others crossing the border would either have to be closed or turned into customs control points."

    Absolute BULLSHIT and they know it. for an example of how a very similar border works in reality with plenty or crossing points with no-one there ate all.. Look for Northern/Southern Ireland border.

    This is just so much bullshit it genuinely beggars belief!

    1. tokyo-octopus

      Absolute BULLSHIT and they know it. for an example of how a very similar border works in reality with plenty or crossing points with no-one there ate all.. Look for Northern/Southern Ireland border.

      In case you've been in a coma for the last year and aren't aware of recent events, the status of the Northern/Republic of Ireland border is likely to change quite radically.

  30. bexley

    2500 liters of booze eh?

    that´s 11 million well spent.

    More surveillance in the UK / Eng;and is a most unwelcome prospect, Scotland has no land bordered with the EU so I dont see why this is such a big issue. If scotland leave the UK and join the EU, just leave the border as it is and perhaps do some spot checks on the roads.

    Same in NI. When fighting a war with the IRA, the border was never a big problem and remained open throughout and the EU (with no land border) hardly represents a bigger threat than the IRA did.

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