Breaking: the key IT system to avoid border chaos will still be in testing mode on Brexit day 1/…
Trade group Logistics UK says government officials told them the Smart Freight System won’t be fully tested and stable until April 2021 - too late for end of Brexit transition 2/
The government plan is to start beta-testing it in December, when it says it will be ‘fully operational’. Here’s what says Beta means 3/
A reminder: the SFS is designed so lorries pre-declare they have correct paperwork to enter EU, giving them a permit to enter Kent. No permit = £300 fine 4/…
This is the system UK gov is planning to avoid their big fear - huge traffic in Kent because lorries don’t have right documents and get turned away by the EU 5/…
Logistics UK said the revelation about the IT system is a ‘crushing disappointment’ and was met with ‘dismay’ - we could have lots of unhappy truckers in January... 6/…
And your now regular reminder - all this will be needed even with a UK-EU FTA. Britain will be outside EU customs union, therefore goods will need customs declarations, and EU will impose full controls 7/…
This also why the Brexit lorry parks are being built. Plan is to intercept trucks without the right documents, and send them there 8/…
It’s all looking quite high-wire for end of the year - potentially in covid second wave, untested IT system policing most important trade route, supply chains under pressure... big challenges for gov in store ends/…

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More from @Joe_Mayes

17 Sep
Exclusive: government says it expects to be fixing bugs in key Brexit border IT system for weeks after it goes live 1/…
In official documents seen by Bloomberg, the IT system to check whether trucks have the right paperwork to enter the EU will still be getting `essential updates' through to March. Bugs will be getting `resolved' into January 2/
The government stresses that the service will be fully operational on Jan 1 - but the country's biggest logistics group has said it's a `crushing disappointment' it won't be fully tested and stable until April 3/…
Read 7 tweets
14 Sep
Fact check: the UK signed up to a customs border in the Irish Sea in the divorce treaty, so talk now of threats to `integrity' of UK is a little odd 1/
Evidence for the customs border: GB firms will need to file new paperwork when sending goods to NI, and trucks will need approval from a yet-to-be-built government IT system to cross the Irish Sea. This all happens even under an FTA 2/…
The government is spending 355 million pounds to help companies comply with this new red tape. It's all real and it all happens even if Johnson gets a free-trade deal with the EU 3/…
Read 8 tweets
3 Sep
New: the government has given itself sweeping powers to build Brexit lorry parks across England, without needing local approvals 1/…
In a statutory instrument laid before Parliament today, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick listed 29 council areas where Brexit lorry parks can be built. Full order here:… 2/ (h/t @Brigid_Fowler)
The government's having to take this approach because time is of the essence. These lorry parks need to be ready for Jan 1., and they can't afford to be stopped by local opposition to construction. Work is already underway in Kent 3/…
Read 4 tweets
3 Sep
Scoop: U.K. officials are urgently working to avoid a border crisis with the EU, according to a leaked memo 1/…
Michael Gove has been given a Cabinet Office briefing listing 13 issues with the government's post-Brexit border plans, which is said to have `critical gaps' and is in part `unmanageable', with only 4 months to go 2/
The industry assessment comes after fractious discussions with the freight sector, which is deeply concerned about the state of preparations. The Road Haulage Association along with other logistics groups has called for urgent talks with Gove and Chancellor Rishi Sunak 3/
Read 11 tweets
28 Aug
Exclusive: the U.K. is starting research on its new post-Brexit customs IT system, 4 months before it's due to go live… 1/
In an HMRC memo seen by Bloomberg, hauliers have been invited to take part in remote testing as part of `user research' for the `Goods Vehicle Movement Service' - which will police cross-Irish Sea trade from January and all UK-EU goods flow from July 2/…
HMRC wants to conduct the research `ASAP' according to the memo, and is aiming to do 5-6 rounds of testing via video call in the coming months 3/
Read 8 tweets
27 Aug
Brexit stockpiling is on hold because of financial damage from the pandemic 1/…
With cash reserves depleted, firms don't have the money to build up Brexit stockpiles like before previous deadlines, according to the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply 2/
Plus there's a psychological block - companies have already marched up the hill and spent money before, only for Brexit not to happen. Johnson and Gove need to convince firms that this time it's for real, says @cipsnews economist John Glen 3/
Read 7 tweets

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