UK unveils plan to simplify post-Brexit EU border checks
Britain unveiled plans Wednesday to streamline post-Brexit customs checks and slash red tape on goods coming into or leaving the European Union.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government has published a draft of its Border Target Operating Model, which will implement checks required under the terms of a Brexit trade agreement with the EU.
The UK has delayed implementing the checks several times since it left the bloc at the start of 2021, after a knife-edge referendum in favour of Brexit in 2016.
“Our approach has been to minimise trader burdens and maintain border security while remaining aligned with international standards,” the government said in the draft document.
There will now be a consultation period that will run for six weeks until May 19.
The administration of prominent Brexiteer Sunak aims to roll out its new plan via phases in the year to October 31, 2024.
The overhaul will be backed by an investment totalling more than £1 billion ($1.2 billion).
It will seek to utilise technology “to reduce the reams of paperwork firms are currently forced to complete when they do business”.
The new plan “will eradicate the cumbersome and frustrating approach currently taken to carrying out checks, replacing it with a more targeted, risk-based system that is underpinned by evidence and data”, the document added.
Wednesday’s announcement comes just days after massive border delays and weekend travel chaos at the port of Dover.
However, UK interior minister Suella Braverman rejected claims that the Easter getaway delays were an adverse effect of Brexit, which also ended free movement from Britain to European Union member states.
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