Last Call for EU Customs Deal?

by | Jul 12, 2018

We recently mentioned that UK government were drawing up a third plan for post Brexit customs, which they duly confirmed after meeting at Chequers last week.

According to various reports this week, the EU’s initial response to the ‘chequers agreement’ has been a polite decline of the concept, in what may be the last chance for a simplified customs deal between the UK and Europe.

It has also been reported that Teresa May has since told the EU to accept the plan or the UK will leave without honouring the £40bn exit payment.

In simple terms, these are the basics of the agreement that relate to trade:

  • The UK gets access to the single market for goods.
  • The UK and the EU maintain a common rulebook for all goods, which includes the UK committing by treaty to ongoing harmonisation with EU rules. This means the UK agree to accept all the EU’s rules and regulations as far as goods are concerned.
  • The UK would be able to block any new EU rules it objects to, albeit this could have consequences. This is similar to the agreement Norway has but Oslo almost never blocks rules.
  • The borders between the UK and EU will be treated as a combined customs territory.
  • The UK would apply domestic tariffs and trade policies for goods intended for the UK, but charge EU tariffs and their equivalents for goods which will end up heading into the EU.
  • A post-Brexit UK would be able to control its own tariffs for trade with the rest of the world, although it is widely believed that this may need adjustment to avoid the UK undercutting the EU.

It is currently expected that the UK will need to make further concessions to get agreement from the EU.

As the politicians continue to debate, Customs Insights are continuing to assist UK businesses with a dual aspect approach to post-Brexit planning.

To find out more about how Customs Insights can assist with your post-Brexit customs preparations, then please call 01304 211652 or email

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