ELAND has defined a set of applications to help stakeholders in the Irish border issue to transition through Brexit with minimal disruption and without the imposition of a hard border.
Following Brexit and the UK withdrawal from the European Customs Union, strict application of current laws could mean the reestablishment of border posts and physical controls. There is a huge bottom-up demand from hauliers, manufacturers and politicians on both sides of the border for a technical solution to avoid physical checks at the border. ELAND will help to maintain a frictionless border in Ireland through the use of pre-existing technologies. It will be rapidly deployable and almost certainly quicker than a regime of physical border checks.
Both HMRC and The Revenue Commissioners will require any technological border solution to comply with their existing regulations. Project ELAND’s user-interface module is designed to easily integrate with a number of governmental systems including the UK “CHIEF” and EU “THYME” customs systems. This allows for all required documentation to be completed virtually in compliance with both UK and EU customs regulations, all without the need for a hard border.
The Good Friday Agreement
The re-establishment of a hard border in Ireland could have repercussions for the Good Friday Agreement and the Irish peace process. Whilst diverging customs regulations will necessitate a border of sorts, ELAND will enable a seamless digital border” provided by geo-location. This is both almost certainly faster than physical checks and removes the necessity for any return to a hard border on the island of Ireland.
The ELAND technological solution for the Irish border question has the potential to be replicated across other ports and crossings between Britain and the EU. Many haulage industry officials are worried about the repercussions of Brexit on the channel crossing, which sees an average of 10,000 lorries pass through every day. These lorries are currently processed within two minutes, however this could increase dramatically when Britain exits the European Customs Union. By implementing a virtual border enabled by Project ELAND’s solution based on pre-existing technologies, the risk of lengthy delays at the Dover/Calais crossing could be avoided.