BORIS Johnson is set to slap the full customs and border checks on goods from the EU in a bid to gain leverage in upcoming trade talks, it has been reported.
The Prime Minister wants to ramp up pressure on negotiators in Brussels by imposing the full arsenal of checks on imports from the European Union, the Telegraph reports.
Boris Johnson plans to impose full border checks on EU imports to gain leverage in upcoming trade talks
This hardened approach comes as Mr Johnson promised Brexit would open a new chapter in our great national drama as Britain finally exited the EU last night.
He said: I know that we can turn this opportunity into a stunning success and whatever the bumps in the road ahead, I know that we will succeed.
Now is the time to use those tools to unleash the full potential of this brilliant country and to make better the lives of everyone in every corner of our United Kingdom.
Senior Whitehall sources said Number 10 had issued instructions to departments to get ready for the full checks to be partly overseen by HMRCs Border Delivery Group.
A source told The Telegraph: We are planning full checks on all EU imports – export declarations, security declarations, animal health checks and all supermarket goods to pass through Border Inspections Posts,
This will double the practical challenge at the border in January 2021.
This move will come as a shock to trade groups and risks surges in the price of goods and bottlenecks at checkpoints.
Industry bosses will be summoned to a meeting with minister Michael Gove and senior officials on February 10 where they will be told of pthe pans titled Preparing our border for the future partnership.
UK negotiators want to raise the risk of a WTO-exit to put pressure on Brussels.
This is seen as a stark departure from Mr Johnsons previous no deal stance which promised lighter checks on EU imports and a smooth flow of goods with many being exempt from tariffs.
One trade source said the UK might as well put the barbed wire up given the lack of space at British ports for facilities to inspect goods.
Another told The Telegraph that Mr Gove wants an EU-Canada-style deal, requiring one in ten animal products to be checked.
However they said the borders wont work with these types of processes.
This comes as Mr Johnson told the Cabinet his aim is to have 80 per cent of Britain’s trade covered by post-Brexit free trade deals within three years.
That would be a 30 per cent increase on the current proportion that is covered through free trade deals, including our trade with EU countries.
The PMwants to prioritise striking free trade deals with countries that it doesn’t currently have free trade agreements (FTAs) with.
Those at the top of the list are the US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
The 80 per cent figure was in the Tory party manifesto.