Government response to post-Brexit report raises questions

04 October 2019

The EU External Affairs Sub-Committee writes to Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, James Duddridge MP, concerned by the lack of detail on 'no deal' customs arrangements and preparations in the UK Government's response to the Sub-Committee's report Brexit: the customs challenge.

On 20 September 2018, the Lords EU External Affairs Sub-Committee published a report on 'Brexit: the customs challenge'. The UK Government provided a response to the Sub-Committee's report on 22 July 2019, focusing on the 'no-deal' aspects of the report. The Sub-Committee considered the Government response on 3 October 2019.

The Sub-Committee welcomed the information the Government provided on the UK's re-accession to the Common Transit Convention, the proposed temporary simplifications to customs procedures and the additional funding made available to support the customs intermediary sector in the event of 'no deal'.

It concluded, however, that the response provided incomplete information on 'no deal' planning and raised further questions. For example, the response made no reference to the temporary tariff regime announced by the Government in March and did not specify what coordination work has taken place with EU customs authorities to prepare for a 'no deal' Brexit. The proposed 'no tariffs or checks' approach for Northern Ireland also raises significant questions over the treatment of goods crossing from Ireland into Northern Ireland.

The Sub-Committee sent a follow-up letter raising these (and other) questions on 3 October 2019. The report, Government response and Sub-Committee's follow-up letter can be found at the top of the page.  

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