Brexit: full controls on goods entering UK will not apply until July 2021

The announcement of a three-phased plan for Brexit border checks was welcomed by industry leaders but represents the most dramatic change to international trading since 1993 when the single market was introduced. It comes as the chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, told the vice-president of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič, of the UK’s plans to press ahead with exiting the customs union and the single market on 31 December. At the end of this year we will control our own laws and borders which is why we are able to take the sovereign decision to introduce arrangements in a way that gives businesses impacted by coronavirus time to adjust. From July all goods will be subjected to customs declarations at the point of importation and relevant tariffs, which will be determined by the outcome of the current Brexit talks on the free-trade agreement. The new trading regime will involve fresh infrastructure at ports and airports with a £50m support package to get an estimated 50,000 customs agents, freight forwards and other experts in place for 2021. Border inspection posts will also have to be built, something neighbouring countries including France and Ireland put in place last year in preparation for no-deal planning. The new checks will renew fears over gridlock on the roads leading to Dover and Portsmouth but the government said it would be looking at inspection posts inland to cater for ports where land is an issue. A delay on the protocol would require EU approval but sources say there is no sign of any political will either in London or Brussels to make it easy for already strained businesses in the region. The two sides are preparing for an intense summer of talks on the future relationship, with six weeks of negotiating rounds scheduled over July and August. On Monday, Boris Johnson meets a trio of EU leaders, the heads of the European commission, council and parliament, although expectations of a political reset emerging are low.