Brexiteers in the Cabinet have challenged costings of the “max fac” customs option, with one branding a civil service estimate of almost £20 billion a “back of the envelope job”.
Ministers are digging in for a battle over rival plans for post-Brexit borders, between a customs partnership that keeps some existing EU rules and the rival “maximum facilitation” proposal that would replace border checks with tracking technology and “trusted status” for importers and exporters.
Supporters of max fac have dismissed evidence from the head of HM Revenue and Customs, Jon Thompson, that it would be vastly more expensive. A minister claimed his estimates were about five times too high because they were based on outdated examples.
“Current border technology is 15 years old and in that time there have been huge advances,” the minister said. “You only have to think about how far phones have moved on to see the potential for improvement.”
Theresa May is considering bringing forward a key Commons vote on whether to stay in a Customs Union, aiming to settle the matter before an EU summit on June 28 and 29.
A source close to the negotiations said the case for an early vote was that it would avoid the possibility that Parliament might vote for a different policy later on, therefore undermining the Government’s negotiating hand.
Nicky Morgan, chairman of the Commons Treasury committee which took evidence from Mr Thompson last week, said the Brexiteer reaction suggested they were running from the truth.
“Rather than yet again trying to undermine the advice of somebody who looked at this in detail, the Brexiteers need to confront the reality which is that they are potentially asking business to shoulder a huge new burden,” she said. Manufacturers, car makers and Eurotunnel warned this weekend of higher costs and job losses if the UK does not stay in a customs union. EEF, the Manufacturing industry group, said max fac was “naive”.
The Brexit Cabinet sub-committee is said to be divided 6:5 for the max fac option. Full Cabinet will decide after two working groups finish examining flaws in each.
Separately, a row has broken out between the Treasury and the Bank of England over City of London regulation after Brexit. Chancellor Philip Hammond wants to retain maximum City access to the European market by keeping the UK close to EU rules, but a Bank official told the FT this would mean the UK being “a rule-taker”.
In another development the Local Government Association said food safety standards could be put at risk by Brexit if the UK quits the EU without a deal to keep exchanging information on public health issues. The organisation represents 370 councils in England and Wales.
- VW Group boss Muller on Dieselgate and future plans
- Exclusive interview: VW Group boss Muller on Dieselgate and future plans
- F-35 and F-15EX fighter jets could get drone wingmen in the coming years as part of the Skyborg programme
- Volkswagen emissions scandal: MPs urge Government to prosecute car maker
- STV boss upbeat about future as more viewers choose on-demand
- When Legend Becomes Fact: The Bugatti From the Lake
- Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4: long-term test review (2015)
- Los Angeles auto show 2009: news, blogs, reviews
- 2013 Pagani Huayra
- 2011 Dodge Charger
- 61 hours with a Bugatti Veyron: CAR+ archive, September 2006
- Mellinger Minutes: Herrera's gone, what's next for Royals and worrisome about Chiefs
- California Tries New Tack on Gun Violence: Bullet Controls
- No Fixed Abode: The Millionaire Next Door, Or The Vegas Supercar Rental?
- 2016 BMW 340i xDrive
- Douglas-Kalmar TBL-280 Tugmaster
- BMW i3 (2013) electric car test ride
Brexiteers attack £20bn cost of ‘max fac’ customs have 576 words, post on www.standard.co.uk at May 29, 2018. This is cached page on Konitono.News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.