HMRC boss warns of post-Brexit bor­der staffing short­ages

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By

Tim Wal­lace HM REV­ENUE and Cus­toms needs thou­sands more staff to set up new trade ar­range­ments at Bri­tain’s ports and air­ports, and ex­pects to have to scrap other projects it is work­ing on to de­vote more re­sources to Brexit.

Bosses at the depart­ment told MPs they need to know what to ex­pect from the ne­go­ti­a­tions with the EU within the next six months so that of­fi­cers can plan for de­par­ture day in March 2019.

“There is a point for us, be­tween Christ­mas and the end of the fi­nan­cial year, where we have to say [to the Gov­ern­ment], ‘if you want us to do all this, we have to look at the base load’,” Jon Thomp­son, HMRC’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, told the Trea­sury Se­lect Com­mit­tee, re­fer­ring to the re­sources the agency has to work with.

De­pend­ing on the type of cus­toms ar­range­ments put in place af­ter leav­ing the EU, the depart­ment be­lieves it will need be­tween three and five years to im­ple­ment the changes. That means a tran­si­tional agree­ment would help to smooth the process, as Bri­tain is due to leave the EU in 18 months’ time.

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