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Given the UK makes up c. 6% of EU imports (I have seen various figures mentioned) and only some goods are taxable under WTO rules (if applicable), the marginal increase in customs infrastructure on the EU side would be relatively small - although heavily concentrated in ports like Calais and Rotterdam. I presume most international airports would already have the required infrastructure which could be extended to to cover UK imports.

On the UK side the problem is bigger by almost an order of magnitude because the EU27 makes up c. 45% of UK imports. And so a lot of goods could end up stuck in customs for lack of an infrastructure to clear them. I have written elsewhere of the consequence of a failure to reach a deal on a "Blue Skies" deal extension, as here there is no WTO fall-back. Flights between EU and UK will simply cease. Industrial production could collapse if supply chains get disrupted by goods stuck in transit.

All in all a giant clusterf*ck...

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 30th, 2017 at 07:56:13 PM EST
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