Northern Irish eBay sellers will require extra paperwork after Brexit to sell to Britain

PUBLISHED: 14:09 23 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:44 23 October 2019

eBay traders are among the businesses that would be subject to customs checks over goods moving across the Irish Sea to Great Britain from Northern Ireland under Boris Johnson's Brexit deal. Picture: Tim Goode/PA Archive/PA Images

eBay traders are among the businesses that would be subject to customs checks over goods moving across the Irish Sea to Great Britain from Northern Ireland under Boris Johnson's Brexit deal. Picture: Tim Goode/PA Archive/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

eBay sellers in Northern Ireland will be among traders who will have to submit declaration forms when sending goods to the rest of the UK under Boris Johnson's deal, the government has admitted.

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Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay was forced to admit this despite assurances from both himself and the prime minister that there would be no checks for Great Britain-bound products.

Barclay told a committee of lords on Monday that those trades would be "frictionless", and then corrected himself later in the meeting.

Yet even by Wednesday, Johnson continued to say say at prime minister's questions that "there will be no checks".

Asked by Business Insider why he kept saying this, a spokesperson for Number 10 said they aren't checks but "minimal administrative processes".

Lord Wood, who had questioned Barclay at the scrutiny committee on Monday, called the Brexit secretary's about-face "astonishing".

"What's astonishing is that firstly the Brexit minister didn't really know the answer and when he checked or was given notes from his officials, the answer became clear," he told BBC News Northern Ireland.

"Actually Northern Irish businesses are going to be required to fill out exit declaration forms - that's forms for every item they ship into Great Britain - and similarly Great Britain companies shipping into Northern Ireland.

"So from a commercial point of view, there is going to be a new border - not in a nation state sense - but a commercial border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain."

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