Stop sign at Larne Port in Northern Ireland 010121 CREDIT REUTERS NO USE AFTER 280221
Brexit

Brexit: Military Hardware Movement Concerns 'Rectified'

The Ulster Unionist Party had warned new Irish Sea shipping arrangements could mean extra protocols for the Armed Forces to move equipment.

Stop sign at Larne Port in Northern Ireland 010121 CREDIT REUTERS NO USE AFTER 280221

Concerns about additional checks on the movement of military hardware between Great Britain and Nothern Ireland have been settled.

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) had warned new Irish Sea shipping arrangements could require the Armed Forces to give 15 days' notice, complete customs declarations, and even inform NATO before moving the equipment.

UUP MLA Doug Beattie, who is also a former soldier, said he has received written confirmation that the issue of military movement restrictions has now been resolved.

"Having raised the issue of military movement restrictions with the Ministry of Defence on the 18 January and the Northern Ireland Office on 28 January I am pleased to say that the issue has now been rectified," he said.

“It is important that where issues surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol are identified there must be engagement and solutions need to be found.

"I appreciate both the NIO and the MOD taking this issue seriously and, having viewed the processes in place, have taken steps to stop our military having to complete customs forms in order to move from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

"We will continue to argue against the imposition of an Irish Sea Border in the form of the Northern Ireland Protocol and find positive solutions to remove this barrier,” he added.

Under the terms of the protocol, Northern Ireland remains in the single market for goods and continues to apply EU customs rules at its ports and airports.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said: "The Northern Ireland Protocol does not place limitations or restrictions on the Ministry of Defence's ability to do their duties.

"These are essential state functions, which the protocol respects."