My Intervention on the UK Internal Market SI – 20% of goods

John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con):

It has been said that maybe 80% of goods moving from GB to NI will be able to use the internal market lane. Why will 20% not be able to do so, and why would the UK Government, who I was told were in charge, not want to ensure that practically all goods use the internal market lane?

Mr Baker (The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office):

With great respect to my right hon. Friend, with whom I have gone a very long way in this cause, he might like to revisit the text. The point is that the 80% of goods going on that route are staying in Northern Ireland; they are UK goods. The other 20% are goods that are going on to the European Union. That is the point: 80% is UK internal market trade, and 20% is trade going on to the European Union.


  1. Lemming
    February 3, 2024

    Credit to Mr Baker for a clear answer, correcting your basic misunderstanding of the Brexit deal

    1. Sur Joe Soap
      February 3, 2024

      Do you recognise the oxymoron here?

    2. rose
      February 5, 2024

      Sir John does not misunderstand the position at all. 20% of goods travelling from one part of the UK to another are going to be treated as if they were already entering a foreign country. He is right to question that and Baker should have admitted as much. Goods bound for Southern Ireland should be checked if at all at the border. And the EU should not do it on our soil.

  2. agricola
    February 3, 2024

    Have our ministry ever considered using a dedicated direct route for the 20%, like Fishguard / Dublin. That would drive the cross north / south Irish trade to a minimum and obviate the need for bureaucratic impositions on NI / UK trade.

    1. Berkshire Alan
      February 3, 2024

      Far too simple a suggestion.
      Strangely no restrictions for Wales or Scotland for goods to or from England.

  3. Sir Joe Soap
    February 3, 2024

    Yes it’s not actually a UK single market then is it?
    I presume we’re setting up a similar system south of the Irish border, so that goods bound for GB are pulled out in case any part of them crossing the border to Northern Ireland might then cross over into GB and contaminate the GB single market?

    1. A-tracy
      February 3, 2024

      Of course they’re not, the UK is being played. Nothing should come to the UK out of Ireland without being checked without a north/south border. The dockets should be checked by computer for origin and taxes.

    2. Nigl
      February 3, 2024

      Yes. It’s little/nothing to do with ‘contamination’ etc.

      It’s the EU wanting to keep a foothold in the U.K. and supporting the South in its drive to unify Ireland.

      Obviously our wilfully blind and weak Ministers cannot see this or privately think the North is a nuisance and would welcome unification. Certainly this is the position of the Foreign Office who as we know sells us out at every opportunity.

      1. rose
        February 5, 2024

        I fear the N Ireland Office and the Select Committe Chairman think so too.

  4. Bloke
    February 3, 2024

    Mr Baker appears to provide a valid answer.

  5. DOM
    February 3, 2024

    There is no UK single market, there is only the sovereign nation that is the UK and all trade in goods and services within that sovereign jurisdiction is both legal and proper.

    The EU is a divisive cancer whose only aim is control and power. This cancer even conspired to undermine the Hungarian economy in revenge for Orban’s refusal to endorse further funding to finance the US-EU proxy war in Ukraine

    In under a decade we will see a United Ireland, UK annulled and GB back in the EU.

  6. A-tracy
    February 3, 2024

    I don’t think this is a valid answer. Why would we ship into Northern Ireland before shipping into the rest of the EU? Wouldn’t we just ship the 20% straight into Dublin from Holyhead?

  7. glen cullen
    February 3, 2024

    Are we going to see red & green lanes when crossing to and from england, wales & scotland ….no

  8. Ian B
    February 3, 2024

    “Why will 20% not be able to do so” – Stupidity is the only thing that comes to mind. Along with this Conservative Government holding on to being run by their unaccountable unelected master in the EU Commission
    Any devious way that can be found to kowtow to the unelected unaccountable bureaucrats, that the rest of the World, the UK’s competitors do not have to fall in step with. Clear intention from the Conservative Government to destroy the UK

    1. Ian B
      February 3, 2024

      More, this week has seen the UK Conservative Government has encourage others to remove oil and gas from the UK, so they can sell it on the open market and if the UK needs any it will have to buy it back.
      The India Company Tata is in the first place to become the administrator of a key piece of the UK’s economic infrastructure, which is responsible for processing more than 90% of salaries, over 70% of household bills and almost all state benefit payments. This Conservative Government has in the last 12 months already handed Tata £1Billion of our taxpayer money, to reduce the UK’s abilities to survive going forward. Mr Sunak is offshoring Taxpayer money!
      The Defence Secretary has awarded a near-£2bn contract to the whims of the French Government to use artificial intelligence and virtual reality to keep British warships and submarines at sea for longer. That’s on top of the £169million awarded to the French Government to provide all the primary electronics navigation and weapons control for our submarine fleet.
      The Taxpayer is financing the World while destroying it own ability to survive.
      Thank you Mr Sunak

      1. glen cullen
        February 3, 2024


  9. Ralph Corderoy
    February 3, 2024

    Steve Baker: ‘That is the point: 80% is UK internal market trade, and 20% is trade going on to the European Union.’

    The detail is missing for some of trying to follow along. Are these 20% addressed to EU addresses and simply passing through NI en route, e.g. Royal Mail shipping a parcel? Or are they goods being sent to a buyer in NI who will in turn happen to ship them to the EU, say by putting each widget into a bigger product?

    If the 20% are en route then the border should be NI/EU and they’re ‘green route’ until then.
    If they’re widgets then again the border should be NI/EU.

    There still seems to be a GB/NI border. Much time wasted and a gift to hamper Brexit, all for NI which will probably split from the UK within our lifetimes thanks to the Good Friday agreement.

  10. Roy Grainger
    February 3, 2024

    What are the arrangements in the other direction ? I mean for goods passing from Ireland into NI some of which will be intended to stay in NI and some reexported to mainland UK ? Do any such arrangements exit at all ?

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