Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to impose full customs and border checks on all European goods entering the UK after Brexit, in an attempt to ramp up pressure on the bloc in trade talks, according to reports.
“We are planning full checks on all EU imports – export declarations, security declarations, animal health checks and all supermarket goods to pass through Border Inspections Posts,” The Telegraph quoted a senior government source as saying.
“This will double the practical challenge at the border in January 2021,” the source added.
An hour before Britain’s exit, Boris Johnson, who led the 2016 Vote Leave campaign, said in a pre-recorded TV address: “Tonight we are leaving the European Union.
“For many people this is an astonishing moment of hope, a moment they thought would never come, and there are many of course who feel a sense of anxiety and loss.
“And then of course there is a third group – perhaps the biggest – who had started to worry that the whole political wrangle would never come to an end.
“I understand all those feelings and our job as the Government – my job – is to bring this country together now and take us forward.”
Earlier, the Prime Minister held a symbolic Cabinet meeting in Sunderland – the first city to announce its referendum result after the vote on June 23, 2016.
Later, Mr Johnson flew back to London to host a low-key reception in Downing Street.
Guests included Cabinet Ministers, No10 staff, officials who were involved in the Brexit negotiations and supporters of the battle to leave the EU.
EU leaders issued a stark warning that shifting away from the bloc’s rules will leave the UK with weakened access to the single market.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen added: “Britain will become a third country, and for all third countries, the following applies – only those who acknowledge the rules of the common market can benefit fully from the common market.”
She warned: “We want to have the best possible relationship with the United Kingdom but it will never be as good as membership.”