UK's Johnson plans full border checks on EU goods: Telegraph

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to impose full customs and border checks on all European Union goods entering Britain from next year, in an attempt to increase pressure on the bloc in trade talks, The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.

“We are planning full checks on all EU imports - export declarations, security declarations, animal health checks and all supermarket goods to pass through Border Inspections Posts,” Saturday’s Telegraph quoted a senior government source as saying. “This will double the practical challenge at the border in January 2021,” the source added.

Under previous government plans for a no-deal Brexit last year, where Britain left the EU abruptly without any trade deal, only a small proportion of goods would have been checked.

Britain left the EU at 2300 GMT on Friday with a temporary transition deal, starting an 11-month period during which Johnson aims to negotiate a free trade agreement similar to that between Canada and the EU. British negotiators hope that threats of tougher checks if a deal is not agreed could make the EU more willing to agree to Britain’s terms, the Telegraph said.

Without a deal, British goods exports will face EU tariffs from next year. Even with a deal, extra checks are likely on both sides of the border, prompting the Bank of England to warn last week of damage to trade and economic growth from next year.

The intensity of these checks will affect costs for British businesses that rely on just-in-time delivery, such as carmakers and supermarkets, and some fear even small border delays could make them uncompetitive, or reduce choice for shoppers.

Asked about the Telegraph report, a spokeswoman for Johnson’s office said change was inevitable.

“We are leaving the EU’s customs union and single market. That means businesses will have to prepare for life outside of these,” she said.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said the government should prioritize a continued free flow of goods through ports after the transition period ends.

“Costs add up with every new procedure or delay - and every pound spent on adapting to new requirements is a pound less for training, equipment or securing new customers,” BCC director-general Adam Marshall said.

Similar articles

  • Israel, South Korea sign massive free trade deal

    Israel, South Korea sign massive free trade deal

    After many delays, Israel and South Korea announced they would sign a free trade pact next week, Reuters reported. On Sunday, Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabi Ashkenazi and Minister of Economy and Industry Amir Peretz arrived for a three day visit to South Korea during which they will attend the formal signing of the deal in Seoul together with ministers from the Korean government.

  • China exports spike to $264bn as global demand recovers from pandemic

    China exports spike to $264bn as global demand recovers from pandemic

    China’s exports posted a 32.3% increase in April compared to same period a year ago, AP reported. The main reason for the surge is a recovery in global consumer goods demand. Exports rose to $263.9 billion, in line with the previous month’s growth but down from the explosive 60.6% rise in the first two months of 2021, customs data showed. Imports increased to 43.1%, accelerating from March’s 38.1% expansion.

  • Amazon Q1 profit triples as sales surge above $100bn

    Amazon Q1 profit triples as sales surge above $100bn

    The biggest e-commerce company in the world Amazon is also the biggest winner from pandemic, AP reported. Amazon continued to cruise on the pandemic online trading boom and sales in the first quarter of 2021 topped 100 billion dollars. The company noted that clients attracted to online ordering in the peak of pandemic, remained with the firm and kept on buying online even though Covid-19 retreated from their countries and regions and the pandemic-driven restrictions were eased.