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UK abandons full border checks with the EU

The British government have now confirmed that it will no longer introduce border checks with the European Union on the 1st January 2021 after backtracking following backlash from business leaders,

The government has instead suggested that it will look to place a temporary “light-touch regime” at UK ports such as Dover for incoming EU freight. It has admitted that this would have to happen regardless of whether we had a trade deal or not.

This U-turn does come after the government said in February that it planned on introducing import controls on goods and freight from the European Union however with reports that the negotiations with the European Union have all but ceased but there is hope between the British and European negotiators hope to break the impasses they are currently facing.

However this approach would be very similar to the no-deal arrangements that were drawn up last September so this could indicate that the government is now realising that a no-deal brexit is becoming more likely.

The Financial Times has cited an unnamed government source as saying that this could be announced on Friday.

Sam Lowe, senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform said that “The shift to a light touch regime was pretty inevitable”

“Unless the UK takes steps to ease the flow of traffic at roll-on roll-off ports, it could be complete chaos, with or without a trade agreement. COVID-19 has also made things worse ... and government just hasn’t had the time to fully prepare itself for a full fat border.”

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© 2020 by James Thomas Consulting.