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Post-Brexit border checks will cost taxpayers at least £4.7 billion, as a result of increased costs managing the border, according to a scathing report by the National Audit Office (NAO).

In yet more grim Brexit news, repeated delays in implementing controls have also led to an increase in costs, with the NAO saying that the government had delayed the implementation of full import controls no fewer than five times since the UK finally quit the European Union.

It comes at a time when polls show that a majority of Britons support re-joining the EU. It was reported last year that the demand to reverse Brexit had reached its highest ever level, with a poll from WeThink, affiliated with Omnisis, showing that 63% of those surveyed believe that the UK should now reverse the referendum result.

The NAO stated: “Government has repeatedly changed and deferred its plans for the introduction of full import controls following the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU). This has caused uncertainty for businesses and extra costs for government and ports.”

The spending watchdog warned that the ‘government is currently operating a partial import control regime after delaying the implementation of full controls five times since the end of the EU exit transition period on 31 December 2020.’

It went on to add that the government will spend ‘at least £4.7 billion to implement new arrangements and improve the management of the border, but has not yet specified when it intends to have a full regime in place.’

Gareth Davies, head of the NAO, said: “More than three years after the end of the transition period, it is still not clear when full controls will be in place.

“The border strategy has ambitious plans to use technology and data to facilitate trade while managing risks.

“To achieve its objectives, government requires strong delivery and accountability – including a more realistic approach to digital transformation – together with effective monitoring to enable future improvements.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

The post Brexit disaster: Border checks will cost taxpayers at least £4.7 billion, report finds appeared first on Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate.


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