Facilitated Customs Arrangement

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th July 2018.

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Photo of Angela Smith Angela Smith Labour, Penistone and Stocksbridge 12:00 am, 17th July 2018

What assessment his Department has made of the effect of the Government’s proposed facilitated customs arrangement on UK businesses.

Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The proposed arrangement is a significant advance on the Mansion House speech. Instead of just minimising frictions at the border, it provides for zero frictions. That has been welcomed by businesses generally, including, at the Farnborough air show yesterday, Boeing, which is of course an important investor in the hon. Lady’s city.

Photo of Angela Smith Angela Smith Labour, Penistone and Stocksbridge

I thank the Secretary of State for his answer, but I am somewhat surprised. The Government’s White Paper tells us that the facilitated customs arrangement is designed to

“preserve frictionless trade for the majority of UK goods trade, and reduce frictions for UK exporters and importers.”

Will the Minister please tell us which goods will be excluded by the arrangement, and what level of friction business can continue to expect?

Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

We are very clear about the fact that, as has been recognised by businesses up and down the country, the proposal provides for zero frictions at the border. That is very important for advanced manufacturing, which is itself very important in the city that the hon. Lady represents.