September 23, 2020
Are we Brexit ready? Nearly 40 months since the referendum, it is barely three months until the UK’s phony Brexit of the transition ends – and we finally leave not just the political institutions of the EU but the single market and the customs union.
Is The UK Brexit Ready? Careering For Another Cliff Edge More Like
This is a major change for the UK economy – and a major change for businesses and government. 
The process of disentangling has been protracted and tortuous. It required the government to reinvent a third country border, ready itself for the repatriation of functions from the EU and persuade businesses and citizens to Get ready for Brexit.  
We have been marched up this hill before – three times in 2019, a no-deal Brexit loomed. Now, despite last year’s agreement, a new report from UK in a Changing Europe shows, we are careering towards another cliff edge.  
We should be much readier this time. Last year, there were real questions for business on whether it was worth preparing for no-deal. Some did. Others took a bet on parliament and the government blinking, conserved their cash and looked very smug when deadlines came and went and the UK moved into a “nothing has changed” transition on February 1 this year. Related... Opinion: If Boris Johnson Wants The Public's Backing On New Restrictions, He Must First Apologise But this time is for real. The good news for business is that a lot of the new processes they need to prepare for will be in place, deal or no-deal. 
The Johnson vision of a skinny FTA means we move to a much more distant relationship with the EU – with customs formalities, regulatory checks at the border and the need for new EU approvals – and the UK needs to be ready to introduce them as well at the new border in the Irish Sea that the prime minister signed up for in his Withdrawal Agreement. 
The bad news is that many may be less prepared than they were last year. One of the biggest challenges is the border and government systems are still not fully in place.
Reports last week said the new Smart Freight System – to help manage traffic in Kent as part of ‘Operation Brock’ – will only go live in beta form in mid-December, prompting a concerned response from industry. 
There are big shortages in the numbers of customs agents who can help businesses comply with new cross-border formalities that will be needed whether or not a deal is agreed.
They also still don’t know quite what they will have to do – the number of checks on goods crossing the border will depend on a deal with the EU.
If a deal is agreed, businesses will need to be able to prove goods have enough UK content to benefit from zero tariffs: but no-deal (and therefore tariffs on all exports) means no need to gear up to comply.
Agriculture is particularly exposed in no-deal – not just to tariffs, but to a whole battery of checks and need for export certificates, signed off by vets.   
Many businesses are too distracted and cash strapped by dealing with the fallout from Covid to put necessary preparations in place, including reinvesting in warehouse capacity – and there is never much to spare in the run-up to Christmas in normal circumstances. 
In July the government launched its “Check, Change, Go” campaign to tell business they needed to prepare. But that has been hampered from the get-go by the government’s determination to never again utter the word “Brexit” and concentrate only on realising the benefits of “Britain’s new start”. 
That campaign failed to make clear that any business trading with the EU needed to jump over a giant pile of new red tape before they could reach those sunlit uplands.  Now it is left to the trade associations to raise ever louder alarms about the state of readiness. Things are moving – but behind schedule: the contract for the Trade Support Service, to help businesses in Northern Ireland navigate the new border, has only just been let. So will we be ready – deal or no-deal?  The answer is inevitably no.It is not just business that needs to prepare. Government has just launched its campaign warning citizens of the new hoops they need to pass through before they can travel abroad for leisure. No deal – or a thin deal – will make business travel much harder too. 
Last year, the government devoted much of its effort to contingency planning – centred around Operation Yellowhammer.
Birds are now out, but there is a new exercise being stood up in Whitehall to prepare for the year end. Plans to ensure that food and medicines can continue to get into the country are being dusted off.
But the original Yellowhammer teams were stood down in January once that no-deal risk receded – and in the interim a lot of staff who had been working on Brexit were diverted onto Covid work.
An FOI response revealed that 350 officials from HMRC and 160 from BEIS were moved off Brexit preparations to manage the response to the pandemic. Only in the last couple of months have they started moving back. 
So will we be ready – deal or no-deal?  The answer is inevitably no – there will be hiccups and holdups. The task of the government, a government which has shown itself so far to find execution a challenge, is to keep those to a minimum and manage them away as quickly as possible.   
Jill Rutter is senior research fellow UK in a Changing Europe and Maddy Thimont Jack is senior researcher at the Institute for GovernmentRelated... Opinion: If Boris Johnson Wants The Public's Backing On New Restrictions, He Must First Apologise Brexit Ferry Firm Hired By Chris Grayling Despite Having No Ships Goes Bust, Owing £2m Boris Johnson Has Had Another Stinker Of A Week As Prime Minister 'Major Questions' Over Covid Contact-Tracing App As Charity Warns Pilot Data Missing
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Kevin Connolly Gets Pissed After Car's Towed in Parking Tiff with Florist | TMZ
March 05, 2021
TyUb6KPDawo
Chris Harrison, Michael Eric Dyson Tackled Racism in Blunt Meeting | TMZ
March 05, 2021
OZEWGmRpIEo
Timothy V. Murphy Says Sorry CDC, Party's On for St. Patrick's Day | TMZ
March 05, 2021
RACjBY4d154
Jen Shah's designer accuses the 'RHOSLC' star of verbal abuse | Page Six Celebrity News
March 05, 2021
Rmz7eW2CkfU
Terrell Owens wants to wine and dine Olivia Munn | Page Six Celebrity News
March 05, 2021
20k7ziq34ZY
Gen Z tries to cancel ‘offensive’ Eminem but millennials push back | Page Six Celebrity News
March 05, 2021
tx5ODxoeuwI
'Mank' Costume Designer Reveals Her Sketches For Reviving 1930's Hollywood Fashion
March 07, 2021
04VOhzsA3ss
What New Yorkers Think About Movie Theaters Reopening
March 07, 2021
YOSFwFc9UG0
How 'Da 5 Bloods' Changed Hands from Oliver Stone to Spike Lee | Directors on Directors
March 07, 2021
2uqWxHVn93U
Meghan Markle & Prince Harry's Oprah Interview: Shocking Moments
March 08, 2021
eInEGjGZmPc
Queen Elizabeth II's TV Address Ahead of Meghan & Harry's Interview
March 07, 2021
cJzzZhifcgI
Bethenny Frankel Slams Meghan Markle Before Tell-All: "Cry Me a River"
March 07, 2021
ifliFJzZ9zc
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.