Video: Bridgend post not being ramped up in advance of 'no deal' Brexit, says tax chief
The Irish tax chief has said the Bridgend custom post is not being bolstered against a ‘no deal’ Brexit amid warnings Donegal shoppers must not be criminalised coming back from Derry if there is a trapdoor UK exit from the EU.
Niall Cody, the chair of the Revenue Commissioners, was asked about the border posts at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform.
Donegal T.D. Pearse Doherty said: “I would make the point that Revenue will not stop cross-border trade so do not make us criminals because we are buying our shopping in Derry or Omagh, or vice versa.
"We need to sort that out because it has been happening for decades. It will continue happening, so we need to find a specific arrangement in that respect.”
Mr. Doherty said people were concerned checks on the Derry/Donegal border could be ramped up.
He said: “In Donegal there is a lot of suspicion about the coincidence that there have been significant works going on in the three customs posts in Bridgend, Lifford and Pettigo-Belleek, in recent months...It is coincidental that these three sites were left like that for decades and now all of a sudden, there is significant work and tidying up going on at the three major crossings. There is a concern that there is potentially more than what is being laid before the public.”
Mr. Cody said: “I assure him that no work is being done on Bridgend. We still have an office and staff in Bridgend.
“Around the time I was before the committee previously, I was in the offices in Letterkenny and Bridgend and the principal officer in Donegal at the time brought me out to show me the location of the original Bridgend customs post. It was a lovely sunny day but I said we had better get back into the car because it would have been a very interesting photograph in the newspaper of the chairman of the Revenue Commissioners surveying new posts.
"The Deputy might even have come in and told me I was seen up there. I assure him we are not planning in that regard.”