Taking control of our borders Taking control of our borders
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  1. #1

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    Default Taking control of our borders

    By relaxing control on our borders. We didn’t need all that filthy lucre anyway.

    https://amp.ft.com/content/2159c68e-...-0181731a0340?

    UK Treasury ready to relax border tax under ‘no deal’ Brexit
    Plan raises concern over evasion but could be needed to keep goods flowing

    July 19, 2018 12:47 pm by Chris Giles , Economics Editor
    The UK government will instruct officials to relax efforts to collect border taxes if Britain leaves the EU without a withdrawal deal, a junior minister told peers on Thursday.

    Speaking to a House of Lords subcommittee, Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury, said the government knew it would have to balance security concerns, revenue expectations and the pressure to keep goods flowing across borders.

    “We will not compromise on security,” Mr Stride said. “But there will, perhaps particularly in the case of a place like Dover, where you have to keep flow moving very quickly or you have all sorts of problems, there will be a trade off between keeping the flow going and revenue protection.”

    He added: “The priority will be to keep flow moving”.

    His comments mark the first time a UK government minister has detailed the difficult choices that will have to be made if talks break down between the UK and the EU.

    But the government’s apparent willingness to relax tax collection, particularly at Dover, will raise concerns it is condoning tax evasion.

    Richard Allen, head of Retailers Against VAT Abuse Schemes, called the suggestion a “charter for VAT evaders” and warned that not collecting tax “would devastate UK retailers and small businesses with an avalanche of tax-free goods coming into the country”.

    HM Revenue & Customs officials have repeatedly called on Treasury ministers in recent weeks to clarify what they would prioritise in the event of a “no deal” Brexit.

    Earlier on Thursday, Jon Thompson, chief executive of HMRC, told the same House of Lords committee that “ministers would need to make a decision” on what he called a “trilemma”.

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    The revenue losses have the potential to be large if the UK does not collect taxes at the border. In a “no deal” Brexit, value added tax liabilities on imports would need to be administered at the border because the UK would lose access to the EU’s VAT information sharing mechanisms.

    VAT raised £126bn for the Treasury in the last fiscal year, contributing 18 per cent of total tax revenues, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.

    The logistics industry has repeatedly emphasised the need to keep goods moving at Dover and the Channel tunnel, warning that ports would struggle to operate in a “no deal” scenario.

    James Hookham, deputy chief executive of the Freight Transport Association, welcomed Mr Stride’s comments.

    “It’s a sound choice because they’ll collect far more revenue through the sale of goods that are flowing,” he said. “What he’s acknowledging is that everyone does better by keeping trade flowing.”

  2. #2

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    Once again our glorious leaders forget that any border have 2 sides. And just because we elect to try and expedite the flow of goods by accepting the risk of tax going uncollected, doesn't mean that the EU feels the same way...

    Also they only speak of taxes, what about quality, safety control, food standards etc.? We might not care about such trivialities, as doubtless the standards will drop to the floor as a condition to a deal with Trumpland, so any EU imports are going to be superior, but the EU is quite serious about them and will not care if M20 gets converted to a parking lot.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by sal View Post
    Once again our glorious leaders forget that any border have 2 sides. And just because we elect to try and expedite the flow of goods by accepting the risk of tax going uncollected, doesn't mean that the EU feels the same way...

    Also they only speak of taxes, what about quality, safety control, food standards etc.? We might not care about such trivialities, as doubtless the standards will drop to the floor as a condition to a deal with Trumpland, so any EU imports are going to be superior, but the EU is quite serious about them and will not care if M20 gets converted to a parking lot.
    To be fair to our government (though I'm loathe to do so) and the British civil service, if we're talking about preparation for the impact of no deal at Dover, then they are talking here only of the things they can (to some extent) control.

    You're quite right that the statement doesn't refer to the flow of exports from the UK. In a way, that is heartening - the David Davis approach would have likely been to demand that the EU adopt plans to let UK exports flow freely, or say that obviously they will allow it because, well, we're Britain. If someone is government is actually thinking in an intelligent way of what to do to minimise the impact of no-deal, then that's got to be welcome. It's obviously far from enough, but at least it's a moitie of common sense in the morass of "Hard leave now!" nonsense.

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