UK Border Conference Speech Today
This morning (10 February), the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster delivered a speech where he confirmed that from 2021, all goods entering Great Britain from the EU will be subject to the same checks and controls as goods coming from any other country in the world. Further details are available online here. This speech reiterated, as the Prime Minister set out in his speech on 3 February, that we will be leaving the customs union and single market at the end of 2020 and that we will not seek alignment with the EU on trade. This means that there will be new processes that exporters and importers of EU goods will have to comply with, whether we reach a new trade agreement or not. We recognise that putting in the same controls as we already have for the rest of the world will present significant challenge for businesses and government and we want to work with you to ensure your views are represented in this development. The Government will continue working to design customs and other arrangements at the border that ensure legitimate goods can continue to flow into the country and delays are minimised.
In addition, today a public consultation on Freeports policy was launched. It will last for ten weeks. Up to 10 Freeports will be introduced across the UK, which will be national hubs for trade, innovation and commerce, helping us form partnerships with old allies and new friends around the world. I have enclosed a PDF which provides further detail on this consultation.
Customs intermediaries will be crucial in ensuring businesses are ready to make customs declarations. HM Revenue and Customs has also announced today the extension of the deadline for businesses to apply for customs support funding to 31 January 2021.