Such is the severity of the latest bad Brexit news that hardline Brexiteers are already engaging in desperate and dishonest spin to try and make it go away. But the £12 billion annual burden on British businesses is coming, it’s real, it’s going to be happening year-in, year-out, and it’s going to be yet another ball and chain imposed by alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his pals on already struggling firms.
As the rest of our free and fearless press exhorts its readership to Look Over There at the Government finally deciding to make face coverings compulsory in shops - but only from the 24th of the month - the ever-vigilant FT
has put the grim Brexit news on its front page, telling readers “Business faces £7bn-a-year Brexit red tape bill in Gove border plan
The article goes on to tell “British companies trading with Europe will have to absorb a post-Brexit bureaucracy burden and fill in an extra 215m customs declarations at a cost of about £7bn a year, according to Government officials … The scale of the additional red tape involved in future trade with the EU was confirmed … in a 206-page document that included the admission ‘Customs declarations are complicated’
”. There was more.
“Mr Gove has not disputed industry estimates that some 50,000 private sector customs agents will have to be hired by businesses to deal with formalities at the UK-EU border, regardless of whether the sides reach a trade deal
”. But there was good news, too.
“In spite of fears from business that new IT, customs experts and lorry parks will not be ready by the end of the year, Mr Gove and Boris Johnson insisted that the ‘Project Fear’ warnings of anti-Brexit campaigners would turn out to be ill-founded. The Prime Minister claimed that the Covid-19 crisis had put the costs associated with Brexit ‘very much into perspective’
”. That claim, of course, is irrelevant. No disputing the extra billions in costs.
That £7bn has to be added to thee cost of all the extra customs agents the Government will need to hire, hence the estimate of an extra £12bn in total. Broadcaster Steve Richards surveyed the damage and mused “Fantasies of leading Brexiteers being tested by reality now...huge sums on border infrastructure, new bureaucratic obstacles that'll make UK businesses less competitive, N.Ireland border problems, costly travel insurance etc, etc..they'll blame EU but this is their project alone
”. There was more.
Labour MP Ben Bradshaw observed “But we were told leaving the EU was all about cutting 'red tape'. Tory #Brexit Tax to cost U.K. businesses an extra £7 billion on top of [the] #Covid19UK disaster
”, to which Jessica Simor added “It’s really rather late to be waking up to this
”. David Schneider, meanwhile, had seen enough.
“At least now we know sunlit uplands = £800m+ for more red tape … Trade made harder … End to free movement … End to health insurance in EU … Businesses going bust … Job losses … End of the union … £130bn+ economic hit … I’ll never forgive the liars & swindlers who did this
”. Except the liars and swindlers are now the Government.
And are now working on the longest suicide note in history. I’ll just leave that one there
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What a difference 4 years makes.
"The Tories’ latest Brexit plans expose frictionless trade as a fiction" - Simon Jenkins, The Guardian 13 July 2020
"Ignore the prophets of doom. Brexit will be good for Britain" -
Simon Jenkins, The Guardian 6 July 2016
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