New plans for radical UK customs and border checks

Boris Johnson is preparing to impose full customs and border checks on all European goods entering the UK after Brexit. This seems to be his cabinet’s way of ramping up the pressure on the coming EU-UK trade talks.

In a radical departure from pre-election ‘no deal’ planning that prioritised the smooth flow of goods into the UK from Europe, Whitehall departments have been told to prepare for imposing the full panoply of checks on EU imports to the UK.

According to an article on, the toughened approach, which is designed to give UK negotiators greater leverage against Brussels, came as Johnson promised that Brexit would open an exciting new chapter “in our great national drama”.

“I know that we can turn this opportunity into a stunning success and whatever the bumps in the road ahead, I know that we will succeed,” he said. “Now is the time to use those tools to unleash the full potential of this brilliant country and to make better the lives of everyone in every corner of our United Kingdom.”

In London, the cabinet discussed the Government’s future trade agenda on Friday, including the desire for a Canada-style Free Trade Agreement with the EU that will necessitate checks for customs, regulations as well as animal and plant product safety.

The creation of checks for goods crossing the Dover Straits would add delays, meaning less availability, shorter shelf life for fresh produce, and potentially higher costs for consumers.”

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