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No-deal Brexit could cost businesses GBP 20 b a year, tax official says

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Monday, 11 June 2018 00:00


LONDON (Reuters): Companies face an extra GBP 20 billion ($27 billion) a year in costs to comply with the customs arrangement if there is a no-deal Brexit, Britain's most senior tax official said last week.

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs Permanent Secretary Jon Thompson told lawmakers that leaving the EU with no deal would cost business a similar amount to a customs arrangement known as "max fac" - or maximum facilitation - because companies would have to fill-in customs declarations.

"If we move to WTO (World Trade Organisation) rules, that would definitely require customs declarations, so it would be similar in terms of costs," Thompson said when asked about the cost of a no-deal Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to take Britain out of the customs union with the EU, a step she argues is necessary so that London can strike its own trade deals around the world.

But, May's Government has yet to set out to the EU's satisfaction how it would achieve that without erecting a land border to control goods between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU member, the Republic of Ireland, which Britain has promised it will not do.

The Government is considering two possible options in a debate that has exposed a deep rift within May's cabinet between those who favour a clean break with Europe and those willing to accept closer cooperation with Brussels. 


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