UK will not introduce full border checks with EU

The United Kingdom has abandoned its plans to instate full border checks with the European Union on 1 January.
calendar icon 12 June 2020
clock icon 2 minute read

According to reporting in the Financial Times and Reuters, business leaders in the UK are lobbying government ministers about the checks. Many businesses fear that increased border checks will add to the chaos already caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead of the checks, Britain will introduce a temporary “light-touch regime” at ports like Dover for incoming EU goods. The Financial Times reports that this will happen whether or not there is a Brexit free trade agreement with the European Union.

UK officials have said that goods flowing to the EU from the UK could potentially face full checks as they enter France.

The UK officially left the EU on 31 January 2020, but negotiators report that very little progress has been made regarding a trade deal with the EU.

The Financial Times cited unnamed officials as saying an announcement on border checks could be made as soon as 12 June, ahead of the UK’s plan to ramp up preparations for a no-deal Brexit in July.

The approach will be similar to no-deal arrangements drawn in September last year, which prioritised flow of goods over border formalities.

The newspaper reports that agricultural goods will not enter Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) in or near the port and animal products may not immediately be required to have health certificates.

The plans stipulate that only controlled goods will face immediate checks, while industrial goods are expected to benefit from transitional measures that delay the implementation of customs declarations.

This development signals a full reversal from February, when the UK said it planned to introduce import controls on EU goods at the border after the post-Brexit transition period ends on 31 December.

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