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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Border checks to be reintroduced with Europe next year

Whatever was said during the EU referendum about us remaining in the single market in the event of a leave vote, we all knew that it was a lie, and now that has been confirmed. Not only have we left with a deal that splits the UK in two, but ministers are promising full border checks from 1 January 2021.

As the Guardian reports, Michael Gove has told businesses that trade with Europe they need to prepare for “significant change” with “inevitable” border checks for “almost everybody” who imports from the EU from next year:

In the first official confirmation that the government is going to impose trade barriers post-Brexit, he warned there would be checks on food and goods of animal origin, plus customs declarations and mandatory safety and security certificates required for all imports.

“You have to accept we will need some friction. We will minimise it but it is an inevitability of our departure,” he told delegates at a Cabinet Office event held in central London on Monday, entitled Preparing Our Border for the Future Relationship.

“I don’t underestimate the fact that this is a significant change, but we have time now to make that change.”

Gove, who as chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is de facto deputy prime minister, also warned delegates it could take five years to get a smart border involving online processes up and running and said businesses had to be ready for the change next January, whatever the outcome of the next phase of Brexit negotiations.

“In questions and answers his officials talked of an ‘operational border’ from the beginning of 2021, which they said was laying the foundation for best borders in 2025,” said one delegate, who reported that Gove had warned the UK must be ready for the completion of Brexit on 1 January next year when the transition period ends.

Later the government issued an official update confirming checks on both imports and exports.

The update warned that the “policy easements put in place for a potential no-deal exit will not be reintroduced as businesses have time to prepare”.

The “easements” that will not apply include deferred VAT payments on imports, which the government had considered in a no-deal plan.

The seamless trade we currently enjoy with the continent will be gone, instead businesses will face red tape, endless delays and increased costs - and we will pay for all of this through increased prices. I hope that they have that lorry park ready at Dover.
I hope that they have that lorry park ready at Dover
- and Holyhead, and Fishguard ...

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