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'Get ready for changes' Boris Johnson announces latest Brexit update in huge boost for UK

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Boris Johnson has told the public to “get ready” for the end of the Brexit transition period with the EU. Asked about Brexit possibly pushing up costs, the Prime Minister told Sky News: “I think one of the amazing things about the last few months, the whole COVID crisis, is I think it’s put all those questions very much into perspective

“Actually I don’t think, I never have thought, that the so-called project fear with Brexit would ever materialise in quite the way that some people did.

“I do think there are big opportunities for this country to do things differently and do things better but obviously we have to get ready for the end of the transition period in December, January and get it done.

“All we’re saying is there will be changes, people should get ready but there will also be great opportunities for this country.”

It comes as more than £700 million is to be spent on building new infrastructure, hiring staff and developing technology to ensure Britain’s border systems are fully operational when the UK leaves the EU at the end of the year.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said the major investment would ensure traders and the border industry are able to “manage the changes and seize the opportunities” when the transition period ends in December.

 

The £705 million package includes £235 million for staffing and IT systems, and £470 million for port and inland infrastructure to ensure compliance with new customs procedures and controls.

New border infrastructure will be built inland where there is no space at ports, while ports will get one-off financial support to ensure the right infrastructure is in place.

The funding relates only to the implementation of the GB-EU border, and the Government is expected to publish specific guidance and measures for Northern Ireland in the coming weeks.

Mr Gove said: “We are taking back control of our borders, and leaving the single market and the customs union at the end of this year bringing both changes and significant opportunities for which we all need to prepare.

“That is why we are announcing this major package of investment today.

“With or without further agreement with the EU, this £705 million will ensure that the necessary infrastructure, tech and border personnel are in place so that our traders and the border industry are able to manage the changes and seize the opportunities as we lay the foundations for the world’s most effective and secure border.”

The transition period is set to end at the end of December 2020, when the UK will leave the single market and customs union.

The funding package comes ahead of a public information campaign in which guidance will be given to traders and hauliers explaining what they may need to do to prepare for the end of the transition period.

Mr Gove said “progress is being made” on a trade deal with the EU, but that differences between the two sides still remain.



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