Small border farms may get tax-free status - UK Brexit Secretary
Farms and small businesses that straddle the Irish border could be given tax-free status, the Brexit Secretary has said.
David Davis said "quite large exemptions" may be granted to businesses that are not given authorised economic operator status - "trusted traders" - to enable trade to continue between here and the Republic.
In an interview with Gerard Baker, editor in chief of the Wall Street Journal, Mr Davis said one "area of difficulty" was "very small businesses" straddling the border, such as farms and "tiny" companies.
"That is going to have to be addressed.
"We think, in the first case by quite large exemptions, so in effect we will give them tax-free status," the Brexit chief added.
Irish business leaders and politicians have reacted with skepticism to the idea.
Stephen Kelly, the chief executive of Manufacturing NI, said Mr Davis' appeared to be unaware that several of the small businesses operating on the border were "actually quite large."
"For instance, the Dale Farm cheese processing plant at Dunman Bridge employs around 80 people but is one of the largest and most advanced in Europe."