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Brexit: the customs challenge report to be debated in the Lords

On Monday 1 April 2019 the House of Lords will debate the EU External Affairs Sub-Committee's report, Brexit: the customs challenge, which was published on 20 September 2018.

The report examined the Government's Chequers proposal for a Facilitated Customs Arrangement (FCA) and the customs challenges under 'no deal'.

The report found that a 'no deal' Brexit will cause significant disruption and will be costly – mitigation options are limited and no technology currently exists which would dispense with the need for border checks. ‘No deal' will therefore cause delays at roll-on/roll-off ports and disrupt highly integrated supply chains. Some form of physical border infrastructure will be required, which is of particular relevance to the Northern Ireland/Ireland border, where trade under WTO rules risks re-introducing a hard border.

The report also found that under the FCA, UK importers would face an administration cost of £700 million per year – a fraction of the annual £18 billion 'no deal' cost. However, the FCA raises a number of significant questions about its implementation that need to be resolved for it to be workable and acceptable to the EU.

Expected to speak in the upcoming debate are:

Lord Bates will respond on behalf of the Government.

The debate is expected to start at some point after 3pm on Monday 1 April 2019.

It can be watched live at and a transcript will be available approximately three hours from the start of the debate on Hansard.

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