Please see below for today’s update on key Brexit news items:

  • The EU has published a position paper on the customs rules that will be in place for goods in transit on the day of Brexit. The paper, available in full here, addresses the issue of goods that “enter, leave or transit” the EU or Britain where the movement starts before but ends either on or after the date of the UK’s withdrawal. The EU’s position is that the rules in force at the initiation of the movement should apply until the movement of the goods has completed. (MLex)
  • MPs are to conduct an inquiry into how prepared Whitehall is for a spike in customs checks after Brexit. It is expected that the Treasury select committee chaired by Nicky Morgan will summon ministers at HM Revenue & Customs this autumn to examine whether the new customs computer system will be able to cope with a hard Brexit. The inquiry has yet to be formally signed off. (Sky News)
  • David Davis has stated that ministers are exploring whether Britain would be required to formally notify other countries of its intention to leave the European Economic Area. He had previously insisted that membership would end automatically but informed MPs today that “we are considering what steps, if any, we might need to take to formally confirm our withdrawal from the EEA agreement, as a matter of international law” and that “the Government’s legal position is clear – Article 127 does not need to be triggered for the agreement to cease to have effect but we are looking at it just to make sure, for clarity purposes”. David Davis also dismissed entering into a Norway-style arrangement where Britain would join the European Free Trade Agreement during a transition period, as it would be subject to requirements such as freedom of movement. (Independent)
  • Michel Barnier has voiced his concerns over the UK’s post Brexit proposals for the Northern Ireland border. He said that the UK wanted Northern Ireland to be a “test case” for future customs arrangements with the EU. He has called on the UK to come up with a unique solution noting that as the UK had chosen to leave the EU it was the UK’s responsibility to come up with solutions. Michel Barnier also said that Brussels expected Britain to deliver on its financial commitments made in the multi-year EU budget signed up to by David Cameron as “what was decided by the 28 member states has to be borne out by 28 member states, right up to the end”. (BBC)