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More work needed on technological solution for Border – customs veteran

More work needed on technological solution for Border – customs veteran

More practical work could be done to examine how “smart” technology could replace the contentious “backstop” solution to avoid a hard Irish border after Brexit, a former Swedish customs official said.

Lars Karlsson, a former director of customs in Sweden, said that there had been little examination of whether or not technology could provide a solution to the Border question.

The political discussion around whether or not a “smart border” could provide a solution was a different question, he said, and it is difficult to consider the practical possibilities before the political question.

“I still think that there is not that much practical work done and that has more to do with the internal processes of government and of course the political process as well,” he told BBC’s Today radio programme.

Mr Karlsson’s ideas, which have resurfaced after his appearance on the BBC programme, were set out in a 46-page report that he presented to the European Parliament in November 2017.

His report, Smart Border 2.0: Avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland for customs control and the free movement of persons, was seized on by pro-Brexit MPs opposed to the backstop in the EU-UK divorce deal.