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UK warned over lack of post-Brexit border infrastructure


The UK has not yet tested its Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) IT system, which aims to help goods flow across Britain’s borders and cut queues at ports after Brexit, with only six months before the UK fully leaves the EU at the end of the transition period. Port of Dover’s head of Brexit, Tim Reardon, has suggested that the UK licence the French system, which has been tested.


Speaking to MPs on the Brexit Select Committee, Mr Reardon said: “French customs specified and built their system that does exactly the same thing in [about six months] so it’s not impossible.” He added: "If HMRC were to buy a licence for the French system that would be a very simple thing to do and traders would like it.” In addition, former Swedish customs official Lars Karlsson warned that the UK would need 30,000 to 50,000 customs agents to cope w ith new border procedure from January 1, adding that the Government’s lack of clarity surrounding future customs arrangement is holding up preparations.


Meanwhile, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said it expects annual car and light commercial vehicle production volumes to be cut by a third this year as a result of the COVId-19 pandemic. The industry body said that volumes could recover within five years if the UK is able to secure a comprehensive, tariff-free trade deal with the EU by December. However, the SMMT predicted that volumes would decline to their lowest level since 1953 without a trade deal.


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