Labour has written to the UK government demanding clarity on the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM), the plan for bringing in remaining post-Brexit controls. A draft of the model, which includes a risk-based approach to conducting sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) checks, was published in the spring. The government was expected to have published the final version of the model earlier in the summer. However, the first new checks in the draft model are due to be introduced from the end of October and the official version of the plan is yet to be published.
It was reported earlier this month that the government was looking to delay the implementation of the model to January 2024. These reports have not been denied by government. In a letter sent to the government today, Labour’s shadow international trade minister, Gareth Thomas MP, has called the delays ‘absolutely shambolic’.
“They have delayed new border checks time and again, creating huge uncertainty for businesses, who are already struggling as a result of Conservative economic mismanagement. With the deadlines for new checks just months away, it is unacceptable that businesses have not received a clear update from the government on whether the new border arrangements are even going to be introduced. The Tories’ trade barriers are stunting economic growth.”