Picture: PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP
Picture: PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP

London — The British government on Monday warned businesses to prepare for stricter controls on goods coming from the EU, saying it was an “inevitable” result of Brexit.

Cabinet Office  minister Michael Gove said EU imports would face the same checks as those from the rest of the world after a post-Brexit transition period ends in December.

He told the freight industry on Monday to prepare for more bureaucracy and higher costs.

“The UK will be outside the single market and outside the customs union, so we will have to be ready for the customs procedures and regulatory checks that will inevitably follow,” he said.

Britain left the EU on January 31 2020.

Michael Gove. Picture: REUTERS/TOM NICHOLSON
Michael Gove. Picture: REUTERS/TOM NICHOLSON

It agreed with Brussels to a stand-still transition period until December 31 2020, to allow both sides to negotiate a new trading relationship.

The details are not yet agreed but London says it will be leaving the EU’s single market and customs union, which facilitate seamless cross-border trade.

“The government has confirmed plans to introduce import controls on EU goods at the border after the transition period ends on December 31 2020,” a government statement said.

It said traders in Britain and the EU would have to submit customs declarations and accept checks on their goods. This would ensure Britain could collect the right customs, VAT and excise duties.

It said the EU had said it would enforce checks on UK goods entering the eurozone.

It was also important to “treat all partners equally as we begin to negotiate our own trading arrangements with countries around the world”, the statement said.

Britain is hoping to negotiate new trade deals with the US, Japan, Australia and other nations alongside an agreement with the EU.

AFP