Chancellor: There'll be changes to customs with EU

Faisal Islam
Economics editor
@faisalislamon Twitter

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Image source, PA Media

Chancellor Sajid Javid has acknowledged that "there will be some changes" to customs procedures for all UK traders with the European Union (EU) as a result of the Brexit deal the Conservatives intend to enact should they win the General Election.

"When we trade with the EU there will be some changes but it also means there's opportunities," Mr Javid told the BBC.

"We will be able to strike our own free trade agreements around the world where we will have investments in free ports [special kind of port where normal tax and customs rules do not apply] so there's a lot to look forward to."

Mr Javid said the government's Brexit agreement was "a good deal".

"It gives us a new economic partnership with our friends in Europe, and it allows us to have a deep free trade agreement with our European friends. We will have our own customs territory and the whole of the UK will leave the EU customs territory."

While there has been much focus on new checks under a no-deal Brexit and on those required within the UK between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, much less has been said or acknowledged about what would happen for the bulk of cross channel trade under Boris Johnson's Brexit deal.

Image source, Reuters

On Thursday, the Bank of England assessed for the first time that the Johnson deal would lead to a small hit to the economy, due to new customs barriers.

Its assumptions were based on the introduction of "customs checks on UK-EU trade" alongside other regulatory checks and trade checks on the origin of parts.

"As a result, trade flows are likely to fall , and some companies might exit the market," the Bank wrote in its Monetary Policy Report.

When asked if a vote for the Conservatives is a vote for customs checks between the UK and EU, the Chancellor said it was a vote for a smooth exit from the EU, and to end the risk of a no-deal Brexit.

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