Layla Moran

Border at risk after Brexit

A report by the cross-party Public Accounts Committee, of which Layla is a member, has found that HMRC may not be able to cope with customs and borders if there is a no deal Brexit.

The influential cross-party Public Accounts Committee – which scrutinises government spending and value for money for the taxpayer – has today published its report into the performance of HMRC in 2017-18.

The committee concludes that:

- Fresh action needed on fraud and error in Tax Credits and value for money of tax reliefs

- Customer service targets are too narrow; the authority should broaden its performance measures

- Serious concerns remain over risks to customs and borders after Brexit, especially if there is no deal

MPs concluded that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has a daunting task as it prepares for the UK’s exit from the European Union, and raised concerns that they would not be ready to deal with customs and borders post Brexit.

The Committee found that further delays to HMRC’s new Customs Declaration Service means that it is very unlikely to be ready for exporters by the time of Brexit, and there is a need for further development of HMRC’s systems so that by March 2019 they can handle postponed accounting for import VAT in the event of no deal.

Public Accounts Committee member Layla Moran commented:

“It is exceptionally worrying that HMRC may not be able to cope with managing customs and the border in the event of a no-deal Brexit. I have no confidence that the Government recognises this risk or has a plan for how to manage if we are forced to leave with no deal.

“To add insult to injury, plans that HMRC had to bring in improvements on issues like childcare, pensions and making it easier to give Gift Aid to charities have been unceremoniously ditched as the Government has failed to reach a customs agreement with the EU and they are focusing all their efforts on preparing for Brexit.

“This could have been avoided if our pig-headed Prime Minister hadn’t refused to do what is best and keep Britain in the Customs Union. The Tories must get a grip on this customs shambles, reach an agreement with the EU and get HMRC projects back on track.”

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