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Relationship with the EU


This fact was correct when it was updated on 24 Sep 2020

What was ‘maximum facilitation’ (max fac)?

The maximum facilitation (max fac) proposals were a suggested solution to the problem of the need to create a border on the island of Ireland, in the absence of a comprehensive customs arrangement and regulatory alignment with the EU. They suggested that technological solutions could largely remove the need for a border through ‘trusted trader’ schemes, streamlined customs procedures, including technology (such as number plate recognition), and allowing the tariff-free flow of UK-produced goods through the EU if they were destined for a non-EU market. The EU did not accept this idea, and the Irish border issue has been resolved through the Northern Ireland protocol.

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