Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 28th August 2018
Business involved in exporting goods overseas could need to secure the services of a customs broker in the event that no formal Brexit deal is agreed between the EU and the UK.
That’s a warning given to businesses by the government’s recently appointed Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, whose department has made clear in a series of statements that the lack of a deal with the EU would see Britain revert to “non-preferential” World Trade Organisation rules.
This situation would be likely to lead to an increased regulatory burden for UK companies but there would also be potential benefits to be gained through trading activities beyond the EU, Mr Raab said in a speech about the government’s no deal Brexit planning.
“I am still confident that getting a good deal is, by far, the most likely outcome,” he said.
“At the same time, naturally we have got to consider the alternative possibility, that the EU does not match our ambition and pragmatism, and we do not reach a deal.”
With the prospect of a no deal Brexit in mind, Mr Raab announced some detail on a total of 25 technical notices which are expected to be the first of many more such notices issued by the government in the coming weeks and months.
As well as customs brokers, exporters are being advised that they may need to secure the services of a “freight forwarder or logistics provider” to help with necessary adjustments in the case of a no deal Brexit.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has welcomed the steps taken by the government in warning businesses about the potential impacts of a no deal Brexit but has suggested that the details of those warnings highlight just how damaging such a scenario could be not just for the UK but for the EU as well.
“By now, few can be in any doubt that ‘no deal’ would wreak havoc on economies across Europe,” said Josh Hardie, the CBI’s director-general.
“These papers show that those who claim crashing out of the EU on World Trade Organisation rules is acceptable live in a world of fantasy, where facts are not allowed to challenge ideology.”