Coronavirus: UK government 'ditches plans for Brexit border checks'

The UK government is expected to ditch plans for border checks on EU goods when Britain’s Brexit transition period finishes at the end of the year. But a government source told multiple news outlets on Friday the plans were being abandoned in the wake of the pandemic, effectively admitting its own new rules will not be fully enforced. They told PA: “We recognise the impact that coronavirus has had on UK businesses, and as we take back control of our laws and our borders at the end of this year, we will take a pragmatic and flexible approach to help business adjust to the changes and opportunities of being outside the single market and the customs union.” The Road Haulage Association welcomed the news, calling it a “sensible decision to relax post-transition red tape.” It tweeted that it gave “breathing space for firms recovering from COVID-19 to prepare for new processes - still unknown.” Firms had been warning they were not prepared for a new regime, criticising a lack of detailed guidance and highlighting their focus on the coronavirus crisis. Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), had said on Friday firms were unprepared for their worst-case scenario of significant new checks and paperwork if no UK-EU trade deal can be agreed.