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Facilitated Customs Arrangement

Volume 645: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2018

19. What assessment his Department has made of the effect of the Government’s proposed facilitated customs arrangement on UK businesses. (906505)

The proposed arrangement is a significant advance on the Mansion House speech. Instead of just minimising frictions at the border, it provides for zero frictions. That has been welcomed by businesses generally, including, at the Farnborough air show yesterday, Boeing, which is of course an important investor in the hon. Lady’s city.

I thank the Secretary of State for his answer, but I am somewhat surprised. The Government’s White Paper tells us that the facilitated customs arrangement is designed to

“preserve frictionless trade for the majority of UK goods trade, and reduce frictions for UK exporters and importers.”

Will the Minister please tell us which goods will be excluded by the arrangement, and what level of friction business can continue to expect?

We are very clear about the fact that, as has been recognised by businesses up and down the country, the proposal provides for zero frictions at the border. That is very important for advanced manufacturing, which is itself very important in the city that the hon. Lady represents.