The government has issued a Policy Paper titled,
The PDF I’m using at in a link at the bottom of that page.
It is a short document of wishes and there is no detail because there doesn’t need to be: oddly enough this customs and duty issue is the easiest to effect but the most brutal to the UK economy. This document that has been produced is a duplicitous brexiteer marketing exercise and consists of utter waffle to hide the cliff-face that the Government has decided to take the UK over.
The document admits the import/exports are 30% of GDP and that trade turnover with the EU is 553 billion and that 200,000 businesses trade with the EU. It also says that 90% of trade growth is non-Europe and that 30% of that is China. Nothing new here: we know the EU is important but brexiteers couldn’t give a monkeys.
The government is trying out the same old tired brexiteer claims and still doesn’t seem to highlight that whilst such growth is outside of Europe, it hasn’t yet grasped that as 1% of the world’s population, the UK will be competing with the other 99% of the world’s population for that business.
China growth for example will be serviced by the existing Chinese trade partners: the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany, South Korea. No matter what the UK does, the lion’s share of the China growth will go to those partners and I would go further and say that China will have a anti-UK program in place to crush the UK in trade for historical reasons. Today the UK is protected by the might of the EU but outside of the EU then good luck bitching to the WTO.
Timing-wise the government has to get legislation into position by March 2019 and all the world will have to have their trade and customs clearance systems updated in the time following the UK agreement with the EU and the brexecution day in March 2019. But it is surprising easier than you would imagine:
For any country the UK source or destined goods would change from EU schedules to UK WTO. This would involve a fairly easy change to systems and every country in the world could implement such a system change as customs systems have schedules with valid from and to dates. Schedules are continually changed and the EU/UK systems are some of the most streamlined and well developed in the world. I’d say all modern countries would have fully computerised customs and duty systems that would allow a fairly routine move of the UK from the EU schedules to non-EU/UK/WTO ones and for this to happen on a precise day.
So on one day a good or service passes from e.g. the UK to France and flows duty and VAT free and on the next day, duty and VAT is automatically calculated and is due. This is how it will happen and it will happen but the UK doesn’t want that as it wants to keep EU trade flowing without the chilling effect of duty and VAT.
Customs do this all the time. If you visit the UK customs site you’ll see a standard list of harmonised system (HS – Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System ) codes. These are common the world over and maintained by the Brussels based WCO (World Customs Organisation) and the validity dates,
Moving on, on the document page 11 (point 48) it proposes a way of delaying leaving the customs union, a parachute in effect, “This could involve a new and time-limited customs union between the UK and the EU Customs Union, based on a shared external tariff and without customs processes and duties between the UK and the EU. “.
Why the delay ? customs systems the world over can be updated quickly to move the UK from EU to non-EU/WTO tariffs. Then it says that “The United Kingdom wants to build a new, deep and special partnership with the European Union.”
We already have one you idiots ! Brexiteers want a clean cut: a clean cut is possible with existing systems but the Government doesn’t want a clean cut and for obvious reasons as it will be a catastrophe for the UK businesses. Well you should have thought of that when you decided that the opinions of a minority of racists and nationalists was a mandate to spend billions to screw the UK.
The EU will quite rightly question what the UK wants: the EU knows that customs systems can have new schedules implemented in a timely fashion and this document is the UK jugular exposed.