Brexit Bulletin: Let’s pretend it’s 2021

Brexit Bulletin

What's Happening? Business is getting increasingly worried about the threat of chaos at Britain's ports.

Police imposed full border checks on vehicles and passengers using the channel ports. Within hours, the main road linking London and Dover was snarled up with traffic and trucks were parked up on the M20 motorway. The disruption was unrelated to Brexit and lasted for just a brief period on Wednesday. But it was a reminder of how a delay in boarding a boat can snowball into a much bigger problem.

Getting border checks right will be vital for businesses when Britain leaves the European Union's single market at the end of this year. Whether or not Boris Johnson gets a trade deal with the bloc, full customs checks will be imposed. Truckers will need to fill in forms they haven't had to touch in a generation.

This bureaucratic exercise won't be simple. To get a feel for just how complicated it will be just play our Brexit Border Game, conceived by Bloomberg's Joe Mayes and Jeremy Diamond.

Play the game: Can you get your goods across the Channel on time?

The game is timely: The U.K. logistics industry is getting worried that a crucial computer system that will decide whether truckers have the correct paperwork won't be ready in time. As Joe Mayes reported this week, the government admits it may still be shaking bugs out of the system weeks after Dec. 31. Even virus testing sites are making way.

While much attention has been given this week to whether Boris Johnson's move to tear up part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement will jeapordize his chances of getting a trade deal with the EU or even one with the U.S., the border will be one of the biggest risks—whatever happens.

Edward Evans

Beyond Brexit

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