UK border: How prepared are we for Brexit?
On 29 March 2019, the United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union (EU)

Businesses and individuals will ‘pay the price’ in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).

Today’s report highlights how the delays and uncertainty surrounding the ongoing UK-EU negotiations have made it difficult to plan for a no-deal outcome, such as necessary changes to systems and infrastructure.

Amyas Morse, the head of the NAO said: “Government has openly accepted the border will be sub-optimal if there is no deal with the EU on 29 March 2019. It is not clear what sub-optimal means in practice, or how long this will last. But what is clear is that businesses and individuals who are reliant on the border running smoothly will pay the price.”

Day one of no deal

The government have said that day one of no deal will leave the border ‘less than optimal’. The NAO have stated that it may take some time for a fully functioning border to be put in place, with individuals and businesses feeling the impact.

The NAO believes the government does not have enough time to put all of the infrastructure, systems and people in place before 29 March 2019 to maintain an effective border. The government have, therefore, decided to prioritise security and flow of traffic over compliance activity in the short term.

Notes

45k to 250k traders, estimated by HMRC, who would need to make customs declarations for the first time in the event of ‘no deal’.

205m passengers who crossed the border between the UK and the rest of the EU in 2017, not including an unknown number of passengers who crossed the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Boris Johnson resigns as Foreign Secretary

£40bn estimated tax and duty collected in 2017-18 on border transactions.

260 Million HMRC’s revised estimate of the number of customs declarations it may need to process if the UK leaves the EU with ‘no deal’, compared with current volumes of 55 million.

8% planned increase in Border Force operational staff from the 7,734 it employed in 2017-18. This follows a 7% reduction in staff numbers from 2014-15 to 2017-18.

11 planned increase in Border Force operational staff from the 7,734 it employed in 2017-18. This follows a 7% reduction in staff numbers from 2014-15 to 2017-18.