The Scottish Government has announced that it is suspending work on a new border control post at Cairnryan in southwest Scotland where ferries from Larne and Belfast ports arrive and depart from.
The new border control post was planned to control imports to Britain from the EU, primarily the Republic of Ireland, that transit through Northern Ireland. Goods from Northern Ireland would not be subject to any checks on entering Britain.
Work on the post had commenced last autumn and the devolved Scottish administration has been in dispute with the Westminster Government about funding the border control post.
The announcement was made by Scottish Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon who said in an answer to a question in the Scottish Parliament “the absence of any such assurances from the UK Government, and given the enduring uncertainty surrounding the UK Government’s approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, I have taken the decision to pause the construction of the BCP until there is greater clarity on the long-term funding, the need for this infrastructure, and more information about the timescales when controls might come into effect.
The UK Government has delayed the introduction of full border controls until next July so this will have no immediate impact.
It does, however, create doubt on the readiness to introduce border controls then with the introduction having already been postponed twice.