UK aims to retain EU customs deal for years after Brexit
Financial Times, Jim Pickard, Gemma Tarlow, Arthur Beesly and Rochelle Toplensky, 15 August 2017

Britain will continue its current customs arrangements with the EU in a transitional deal, in what is seen as a victory for supporters of a smooth transition. The UK government has set out two options for the transition period: either a new customs partnership which would “negate the need for a customs border between the UK and the EU” or a new “highly streamlined customs arrangement”. However, the European Commission has made clear that it is in no hurry to discuss the proposals. The EC has maintained that it will take until October for the two sides to begin negotiating future ties, saying that the Brexit bill, citizen rights and the status of Northern Ireland need to be dealt with first. TheCityUK, the financial sector representative body, welcomed the interim custom provisions.

The first, bespoke, approach would align the UK with EU regulation in order to dispense with any customs and excise border. The second option is to have a “highly streamlined customs arrangement” where a new border would have cut paperwork, vehicle recognition software and ‘trusted trader schemes’. About a dozen Brexit papers, on issues ranging from security cooperation to data protection are expected in the next three months. The recently published customs proposals can be found here.


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