This week, Britain was warned to expect considerable volatility as it leaves the comfort of the transition phase and is struck by a wave of red tape from the EU.
As the nation ends its 47-year membership of the euro club, Michael Gove acknowledged there will be “some disruption” for travelers and companies.
With some understatement, the Cabinet Office minister said that there will be some “bumpy moments” as the 11-month transition phase comes to an end and eventually the full reality of Brexit takes shape.
His comments came as EU27 ambassadors unanimously accepted the provisional implementation of the landmark UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Deal, which is worth some £670 billion and does not contain tariffs or quotas, and as MPs and peers prepared to vote tomorrow on it. It can pass easily with the help of the Labor party. Next month, the European Parliament is due to ratify the agreement.
British companies are advised to recognize the new rules applicable to imports and exports of goods, including the various rules applicable to trade with Northern Ireland, and to consider how they can make customs declarations for trade with the EU27.
It has emerged that online shoppers would have to pay customs duties from this week to purchase goods from the EU worth more than £ 390. For certain products, handling fees and VAT may also apply. That implies that once certain fees and duties are charged, parcels could be kept up at post offices.
Beginning Friday, Gove urged travelers going to the EU to ensure that their passports are valid for at least six more months, take out extensive travel insurance and verify the roaming charges of their mobile provider.
“I’m sure there will be bumpy moments, but we are there and trying to do everything we can to smooth the way.”I’m sure we’re going to have bumpy moments, but we’re there trying to do what we can to smooth the way.
“The minister warned businesses that the time to make final arrangements is “very short” now before the transition period expires at 11 p.m. On Thursday.
“The nature of our new relationship with the EU – outside the single market and customs union – means there are practical and procedural changes that businesses and citizens need to prepare for,” he said.
“We know there will be some disruption as we adjust to new ways of doing business with the EU, so it is important that we all take the necessary action now,” he added.
But the Labour Party and the SNP denounced Gove’s words.
The government is treating its own incompetence as unavoidable,” Rachel Reeves, his Labour shadow, said.”
There is no explanation why the government’s agreement had to be so similar, nor why if the government had adequately planned this time had to be bumpy.
But instead, it declined to speak to business about plans and eluded months of repeated Labour queries about how many customs officers have been hired and are ready, and whether IT systems are being properly deployed.
Ms. Reeves added: “They should behave like adults and take responsibility for the administration,”
Alison Thewliss, for the SNP, called the “understatement of the century” Gove’s remarks on disruption and bumpy moments and cautioned the country would face a “mountain of extra costs, red tape and barriers to trade.”
The Glasgow MP said, “The Tory government is wantonly damaging people’s jobs, businesses and the economy at the worst possible time during a global pandemic and economic recession.”
She argued that a tough Tory Brexit could slash up to 6.1 percent of Scottish GDP and cost the nation £ 9 billion, the equivalent of £ 1,600 per person.
“It’s no wonder the Tories are desperate to get Brexit through with as little control as possible,” Thewliss pointed out.
“People in Scotland and the United Kingdom will also see their EU benefits phased out, including our valuable free movement rights to live, work, study and travel freely across Europe, and face increased costs, including travel insurance and roaming charges,” the SNP’s fiscal spokeswoman said.
If people and companies are unprepared, that is because, until the last minute, the Tories left it to their own arbitrary deadline and are now pushing for a hard Brexit, resulting in months of confusion.