A “cliff edge” outcome would cause chaos at the “borders,” pluralby Thomas Sampson / November 13, 2017 / Leave a comment
The latest round of Brexit negotiations has just finished but once again little progress was made. There remains a very real possibility that Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal in March 2019. Some hardcore Brexiteers are actively pushing for such an outcome.
This would have serious consequences, some of which have received a good deal of attention. In this series we’re running through some which haven’t. You might have heard that a “no deal” outcome would create problems at the border, which is correct, but here’s the thing: it’s not just Dover we should be worried about.
Let me explain.
Why will Brexit cause problems at the border?
Let’s start with the basics. The central issue is that currently, goods move freely between the UK and other EU countries. That’s part of being a member state: you get “frictionless trade” with other countries in the bloc. But Brexit will be the end of this. In future, customs checks will be required on UK-EU trade, imposing a new administrative burden on British importers and exporters.
What sort of checks?
At present, we simply do not know. It depends what relationship the UK and the EU have after Brexit. If the UK remains in the EU’s single market or forms a new customs union, there’ll be some additional red tape, but the regime could remain relatively light touch. However, Theresa May ruled out these options in her Lancaster House speech.