Government announces £705 million investment for GB-EU border
The UK government has announced a £705 million funding package in 20/21 for border infrastructure, jobs and technology in an effort to ensure GB border systems are fully operational when the UK takes back control of its border after the end of the transition period.
The new funding will include up to £470 million to build the port and inland infrastructure needed to ensure compliance with new customs procedures and controls, and take the UK’s border facilities to the next level.
The government says it is taking action to build new border infrastructure inland where there is no space at ports. Where ports have space to build on site they will get one-off financial support to try to ensure the right infrastructure is in place.
The announcement said that the government has been intensively engaging with industry in recent months to ensure that the processes it introduces and the infrastructure it develops is fit for purpose, and that it is ready to manage changes and capitalise on opportunities at the end of the transition period.
The announcement also includes a £235 million investment in staffing and IT systems, which includes, £10 million to recruit around 500 more Border Force personnel and £20 million for new equipment; as well as more than £100 million to develop HMRC systems to reduce the burden on traders, alongside additional investment in technology to ensure that new controls can be fully implemented in the ro-ro environment.
£15 million will also be spent on building new data infrastructure to enhance border management and flows.
This package is on top of the £84 million already made available in grants to try to ensure there is sufficient capacity in the customs intermediary sector to support traders. This funding will support intermediaries through increased recruitment, training, and by supplying IT equipment to help handle customs declarations.