Posted on Jul 12, 2020
The British government has announced £705 million (€788 million) in funding for new border infrastructure to prepare for checks and controls from January after the post-Brexit transition ends.
This would include plans for new border posts, improved technology and hundreds of extra staff to deal with the impact of the UK's departure from the EU's Customs Union, regardless of the outcome of trade talks.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said the £705 million investment would ensure that borders were ready for "full independence... when the UK takes back control on January 1st, 2021", in an article published on the UK government website.
The package reportedly includes £470 million (€525 million) for infrastructure at ports and also inland to deal with customs controls. Another £235 million (€262 million) is to be spent on 500 border staff and IT systems.
It covers EU borders with Great Britain: England, Scotland and Wales. Plans for Northern Ireland are expected to be announced later.
Gove said the new technology would help deal more effectively with organised crime and security threats.
The senior minister and Brexit enthusiast added that a major public information campaign would be launched to enable people and businesses take steps to "help this big change" go as smoothly as possible.
On Friday the Guardian reported that the British government had bought up land some 30 kilometres inland from Dover, to build a vast customs clearance site for the thousands of lorries that pass through the busy port each day.
Boris Johnson's government has said it plans to phase in checks on goods from the EU, although on the continent checks on goods arriving from the UK are due to start immediately.
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