HMRC boss warns of post-Brexit border staffing shortages
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.