Irish travellers will see return of duty-free alcohol and cigarettes when flying to UK in event of no-deal Brexit 9 months ago

Irish travellers will see return of duty-free alcohol and cigarettes when flying to UK in event of no-deal Brexit

A big play by the British government.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue has confirmed that Irish flyers will see the return of duty-free cigarettes and alcohol when travelling to Great Britain in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The announcement follows a declaration by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid that: "As we prepare to leave the EU, I’m pleased to be able to back British travellers. We want people to enjoy their hard-earned holidays and this decision will help holidaymakers’ cash go that little bit further."

Duty free shopping was abolished within the EU in 1999.

In a statement issued on Tuesday morning, Ireland's Department of Finance confirmed: "The UK Chancellor this morning announced that the UK Government intends to reintroduce duty-free shopping for passengers travelling to EU countries if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October next. In these circumstances, the UK will assume the status of a ‘third country’ in terms of their trading relationship with the European Union.

"In effect this would mean that Excise and VAT-free sales on purchases of tobacco and alcohol made at duty-free shops, subject to quantitative purchase limits, would therefore operate between Ireland and the UK."

On the subject, Donohue said: "The effect of the announcement by the UK Government today on the return of duty-free shopping between the UK and EU Member States means that Ireland in respecting our international obligations will, as intended, reciprocate the UK Government’s decision and facilitate duty-free purchases for passengers travelling from Ireland to UK ports and airports."

However, this latest development would not apply between north and south on the island of Ireland. The Department of Finance confirmed "there will be no duty-free regime for passenger travel between the two jurisdictions on the island".

As it stands, the UK is set to leave the EU without a deal on 31 October. However, MPs in the UK have sought to rule out this outcome through legislation.

As of Monday night, parliament in the UK has been prorogued, and will not return until mid-October.

Javid's move is likely designed to curry favour with the British electorate ahead of a possible general election in the coming months.

You can read the Department of Finance's statement in full here.