Post-Brexit checks on goods from EU into UK to be reduced

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Post-Brexit checks on goods coming to the UK from the EU are to be reduced, Sky News understands.

A Cabinet Office source told Sky News a new model will be announced later on Wednesday to “reduce the need for checks for many types of goods”.

The government has delayed putting in place the checks four times, which are legally required under the Brexit trade deal with the EU.

But details of the new customs and regulatory process have now been agreed and will be introduced later this year.

“The government is delivering on our ambition to have the world’s most effective border,” the source said.

“Our new Target Operating Model will reduce the need for checks for many types of goods.

“We are working with stakeholders and are taking a pragmatic approach to phasing in these controls to give business the opportunity to prepare.”

As part of the changes, a trusted trade programme is set to be introduced to allow frequent importers to avoid trade checks.

Food and animal products inspections are likely to incur the most thorough checks but ministers are expected to announce they have been reduced as much as feasibly possible.

Checks are set to take place away from the border to relieve pressure on ports.

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Passengers stuck in Dover queues

Goods checks and passport control will take place separately, it is understood, but port operators are concerned about the impact that will have on the border.

The port of Dover was hit by lengthy delays last week as Easter holiday tourists tried to make their way to France but had to endure long queues as border checks took place.

Queues had dissipated by Monday morning but it prompted concerns of delays at other peak times due to French border officials carrying out extra checks and stamping UK passports, as they are now required to do after Brexit.

Over the weekend, Home Secretary Suella Braverman dismissed suggestions the 14-hour delays were due to Brexit but senior Tory MP Sir Robert Buckland then said “there’s no doubt” increased checks due to leaving the EU were part of the problem.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesman then admitted on Monday “new processes” played a role in the delays.

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