A paper circulated at a meeting of the UK government’s special Brexit cabinet committee warned that a “hard Brexit” withdrawal from the European Union’s (EU) customs union could lead to a significant fall in GDP and customs clearance hold-ups in UK ports. The paper highlighted that ports like Dover and Holyhead – which handle large volumes of road freight – could be subject to significant disruption.
Brexit advocates within the logistics sector acknowledge that the withdrawal will lead to customs clearance issues – but they claim that these can be alleviated significantly by the application of new technologies and more streamlined procedures.
Writing in the forthcoming Winter 2016 edition of the Mail & Express Review, Andrew Baxter, Europa Worldwide’s managing director, argues: “Technological advancements in e-commerce mean systems can be put in place to make the paperwork around customs clearance quicker than 50 years ago…. For me, it is okay to reintroduce customs clearance, BUT it needs to be combined with a serious focus on slickening processes.”
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