New government unit to monitor any border disruption after transition ends on 31 December

Tue 1 Dec 2020
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News

The government has announced that a new unit will monitor potential problems at UK borders once the Brexit transition period ends.

With disruption expected, the new Border Operations Unit will use Border Flow Service software and specialists to monitor the situation from 1 January, helping authorities make rapid decisions on the ground.

Trouble anticipated

The Daily Mail reports that ministers are braced for months of border turbulence when the UK leaves the EU single market and customs union.

As French authorities prepare to impose full EU customs and controlled goods checks on all goods arriving from Britain from January 1, there are fears that queues of up to 7,000 lorries could build up in Kent.

Real time decisions

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said the new unit would help the UK monitor and analyse flows of goods and people in real time.

“Regardless of the outcome of our negotiations with the EU, there are guaranteed changes that businesses must prepare for now. There is no time to lose,” he added.

EU under pressure

Meanwhile EU member states are pressuring Brussels to reveal details of emergency measures in case no deal emerges in the coming days, the FT reports

One EU diplomat warned on Monday that national governments “will co-ordinate and come up with their own set of measures” if the European Commission – the executive branch of the EU – continues to refuse to show its hand.

However, EU officials said the commission was concerned about giving Britain the mistaken impression that any contingency measures could be an alternative to a comprehensive trade deal.

“If contingency measures are needed, they would be limited and tailored to the existing very specific circumstances,” a spokesperson said.