UK finally admits true reality of post-Brexit trade with European Union

UK finally admits true reality of post-Brexit trade with European Union
Britain's dream of frictionless trade with the EU will not goint to meet. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times, London: The true reality of post-Brexit trade surfaced when cabinet minister Michael Gove warned UK businesses on Monday that the government will subject goods from the European Union to border controls starting at the end of this year, acknowledging the end of frictionless trade with the country’s biggest export market.

He said during a speech the UK ”have to be ready for the customs procedures and regulatory checks that will inevitably follow” as the country will be outside the single market of the EU.

Frictionless trade has been one of the key features of the European Union which allows goods to move between countries without facing tariffs or border checks. Brexit supporters claimed while campaigning that they would be able to maintain the arrangement, or something close to it, even outside the bloc of 27 countries.

But that dream was predicated on the advert of a new technology that would allow truck to whiz through virtual reality border checks at speed, or irrational hopes that the EU would grant privileges to the UK that are reserved for the member countries only.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to diverge from EU rules and regulations and not seek a tight economic relationship with the bloc after Brexit was the final nail to the coffin of Britain’s frictionless trade system with the European Union.

A senior research fellow at The Centre for European Reform, Sam Lowe, tweeted: “The moment the government’s position became ‘we just want a free trade agreement’ it meant that the UK was advocating increased trade and border friction between the UK and EU.”

Mr. Gove made it clear on Monday that that business should prepare for import controls on goods moving between the United Kingdom and the European Union when the Brexit transition period ends on December 31. After the date, traders will be required to submit customs declarations and shipments could be stopped for inspection.

The border checks mean delays which could be bad for both Britain and foreign companies doing business in the UK. Britain had suffered nearly four years of uncertainty over Brexit and its economy did not grow at all in the last three months of last year.

The UK government has long been stay in the position that it would leave the EU single market and customs union following Brexit, but British officials have been less forthcoming about the costs to businesses that would follow.

For example, former PM Theresa May attempted to negotiate a deal with Brussels that would maintain “as frictionless as possible” trade while taking her country out of the European Union.

Last fall, Mr. Johnson signed a political declaration with the European Union calling for arrangements that “will create a free trade area, combining deep regulatory and customs cooperation, underpinned by provisions ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition.”

But now the limitations of such arrangements have been made clear.

UK policy director at the Freight Transport Association, said in a statement: “We are naturally disappointed that the promise of frictionless trade has been replaced with a promise that trade will be as seamless as possible”.

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