Customs and VAT fears threaten Brexit deal

The Democratic Unionist Party is refusing to support the Government’s last-minute deal with the EU due to fears about customs processes and VAT accounting.

Without the party’s support, the Government is unlikely to get enough votes to pass its revised deal, making a no-deal Brexit on 31 October far more likely.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made a “fundamental shift” in the last week to get the EU on board, according to Associated Press. As a result, the DUP is unhappy about three key areas:

No-deal: how would it affect you?

DUP statement

The DUP has issued a statement saying that “as things stand, we could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues and there is a lack of clarity on VAT.

“We will continue to work with the Government to try and get a sensible deal that works for Northern Ireland and protects the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom.”

What’s blocking the deal?

The DUP is unhappy about the promised exemptions from Customs checks at the border within Ireland. These are meant to reduce the number and impact, but it fears this will not be the case.

The DUP also believes VAT accounting arrangements would be unclear under the current proposals.

What happens next?

The whole situation with Brexit will remain volatile up to the deadline.

Negotiations could still save a deal, but for now no-deal on 31 October 2019 appears more likely.

Now is the time to find out how a no-deal departure will affect your practice or your business.

David Nunn is Content Manager at AAT.

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