Brussels - The European Union will immediately introduce customs checks and import duties in the event of a “no deal” Brexit, erecting barriers to British exports ranging from cars to farm produce and preventing consumers bringing in British cheese or meats.
Pierre Moscovici, the EU’s economic affairs and tax commissioner, told a news conference on Wednesday that all the remaining 27 EU members agreed that customs controls would have to be put in place for incoming goods as soon as Britain left.
“The cliff-edge scenario, which is again not the one we foresee or wish, would create major disruptions,” he said. “We should expect that there would be queues at the tunnel exit and at the ports.”
Moscovici said more than 11,000 goods vehicles per day took ferries between Dover and Calais or used the Channel Tunnel, although he acknowledged that not all would be checked. He said EU companies trading with the UK had to be ready for additional costs and bureaucracy as customs checks increased, while travellers would also be subject to more checks.
Individual travellers arriving in the EU from Britain would be limited to no more than 430 euros’ ($480) worth of goods, and would not be able to bring in British animal products such as cheese or sausages.