Brexit – what will happen after 23:00 Friday 31st January?

Hello, its David here.

Despite the relative clarity of what will happen on Friday night, confusion still reigns.

At a recent BIFA meeting, Customs stated they were no longer sure about Transitional Simplified Procedures [TSP]. Later in the same meeting, they said they weren’t sure that they weren’t sure. Helpful. Now we receive a message saying TSP applications are currently suspended. Presumably, while they have another think.  Their heads must be hurting!

The latest information on Operation Brock, intended to cope with post Brexit traffic issues, is that the barrier between junctions 8 & 9 on the M20 is being removed. How long this takes – and more importantly, perhaps, how long it will take to put back again, is anyone’s guess. Manston Airport [near Ramsgate] is the subject of various reports, from being re-opened as an airport, developed for housing or turned in to a lorry park for the post-Brexit world. All that seems sure is that a decision has been delayed until mid-May.

You may have received a letter from the government concerning Brexit in 2020. If not, please visit:

The information is very limited, as we have come to expect in the past few years.

For EU – UK trade, both import and export, it states that Customs entries are definitely required from 1.1.21 – and not before. For UK – Northern Ireland trade it seems to say ‘we’ll let you know’. I have my own thoughts on the legality of the former and the potential meaning of the latter – but I won’t bore you with more conjecture.

One thing is clear – the advice is to make plans for Customs declarations post-2020. If you are brave, by all means, have a crack at this yourself. I tend to agree with the alternative stated – appoint a Customs agent to do this for you.

In terms of absolute clarity, in many ways, we seem to be no further forward than we were, although a date for Customs declarations is now in black and white with a fixed date.

I suppose it’s a mark of the nonsense we have suffered over the last three years that many will distrust even this apparently crystalline statement.


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