HMRC Impact Analysis: Customs

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:38 pm on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Stewart Hosie Stewart Hosie Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Trade) 1:38 pm, 8th October 2019

I think the Minister is in denial. The cost is £15 billion—£7.5 billion from UK to EU trade, and a comparable amount from EU to UK trade, which will no doubt be paid by consumers and businesses here. This denial runs to the heart of this whole problem. The Prime Minister said that leaving the EU would save £1 billion a month. That clearly only adds up if we ignore and deny any costs such as the £15 billion that we are talking about today. But it is worse than that. This figure is an annual recurring cost, so how will it be mitigated?

The figures exclude additional one-off costs. How will they be mitigated and have they even been assessed? They ignore the new VAT rules on parcels that are damaging to small businesses. How will that be mitigated and has it actually been assessed? The £15 billion also excludes the serious damage done to exports of low-margin items where this cost burden may be significant. Has that been assessed? Finally, the figures ignore the multiple damages done to businesses that ship part-finished goods back and forward across borders many times, which multiplies the administrative burden. Has that been assessed? How many business will be damaged and what mitigation is being put in place?