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Hard Brexit e-border plan improbable says the National Audit Office?

September 12, 2018

The Home Office says that “The Home Office considers vetting delays to be a key risk to its ability to increase the number of Border Force staff to work on projects related to Brexit and the UK border.” The key project that this knocks into is the HMRC Customs Declaration System (CDS) project, which on a ‘hard-Brexit’ would suddenly be expected to handle five times the number of customs declarations.

Basically the NAO is saying that a domino effect is a high risk:

  1. That the new security vetting processes are inadequate…
  2. …this will cause a shortage in qualified security cleared people…
  3. …who are suddenly needed for extra testing work and contingency preparations…
  4. …if there is a hard Brexit with 5 times the customs declaration workload

dominos

Details   

The NAO in its report released 5th September quotes the Ministry of Defence and also the Home Office and relates obliquely but crucially back to their 28th June report on the nationally critical HMRC Customs Declaration System project.

1

Source: https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Investigation-into-national-security-vetting-Full-report.pdf Page 5

Unfortunately the NAO have already stated that the massive HMRC Customs Declaration System (CDS) project will have to handle 5 times as many customs declarations than currently expected:

2

And that there the “already tight timeline has become even more demanding”. The NAO pinpoint that testing needs to be more robust and that the existing contingency planning is not adequate:

3

https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/The-Customs-Declaration-Service-a-progress-update.pdf pages 7 & 12

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