BCC: Pragmatism, not ideology, needed in customs debate

8th May 2018

Reacting to comments made by Business Secretary Greg Clark MP and other political interviewees on the Andrew Marr programme regarding future customs arrangements, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Whatever the final customs deal, the UK government must ensure that trading businesses face only one set of changes, not two, as they move goods across borders whether by land, sea or air.

“An agreement to maintain something close to the status quo until new rules, technology, infrastructure and staff are in place is a no-brainer. The alternative is greater uncertainty, disrupted supply chains, and one costly adjustment after another.

“Every trading business I speak to wants practical considerations, not ideology, to drive Cabinet decision-making and negotiations with the EU. The customs question is no different. If the government’s position is that the UK will not be in a customs union with the EU, it has an obligation to make this shift happen with the least possible disruption to business, consumers and the wider economy.

“A clear sunset clause would ensure that a pragmatic customs transition is completed without a cliff-edge for business or endless can-kicking by ministers.”

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