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Government officials to be quizzed on Brexit preparedness

30 November 2020

Senior officials managing the Brexit transition will be questioned by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on Wednesday, on preparedness for when the Northern Ireland Protocol takes effect at the end of the year.

Scope of the session

Directors from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are expected to provide updates on:

  • IT system readiness;
  • changes to VAT arrangements; and
  • the level of business preparedness for trading under the Protocol.

In a recent report assessing UK-wide readiness for new trading arrangements with the EU the National Audit Office highlighted the arrangements in operating the Northern Ireland Protocol were particularly at risk. MPs on the Committee will seek further details from the officials on progress and contingency planning for Northern Ireland.

From January, the European Union (EU) will begin treating the UK as a third country, increasing the amount of customs and border processes necessary to move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Protocol keeps the UK’s only land border with the EU open by setting rules and processes that will govern GB-NI trade worth £24bn in 2017-18.

The evidence session is the fourth of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee’s Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol Inquiry.


Wednesday 2 December 2020

At 9.30am

  • Aidan Reilly, Director for Customs and Border Design, HMRC
  • Mark Denney, Director of IT, EU Transition and COVID-19 Chancellor Schemes, HMRC
  • Ian Broadhurst, Deputy Director, VAT Reliefs, Deductions and Financial Services, HMRC
  • James Smallbone, Deputy Director, VAT Fraud & Transition Readiness, HMRC
  • Mark Davies, Deputy Director, Transition Task Force, Cabinet Office

Further information

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