The chief executive of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) warned on Tuesday that a no-deal scenario could cost UK and EU businesses up to £20 billion (almost US$27 billion at the current GBP/USD exchange rate), the Guardian newspaper reported today.
HMRC Chief Executive Jon Thompson told MPs of the Treasury select committee that under the “max-fac” model, which is preferred by many Brexiteers, customs declarations will quadruple to over 200 million per year.
He told the committee that almost US$9 billion of the total cost would be absorbed by EU firms, but warned that it could be passed onto both retail and commercial consumers in Britain.
Other experts who discussed the economic dangers Brexit poses with the committee include John Keefe, who serves as the director of public affairs for Getlink, which owns the Eurotunnel.
Mr. Keefe said that Brexit is likely to complicate and hinder the work of production lines, especially those utilizing a just-in-time system.
“Warehousing has disappeared in manufacturing chains. For example, in the car manufacturing industry, the red car is followed by the blue car is followed by the green car – and when the truck arrives the wing mirrors come off in that order – red, blue and green – and they go on to the cars in that order, and if that truck is delayed then the production line is thrown into disruption,” he told the Treasury select committee on June 5.
Meanwhile, deputy chief executive of the Calais port, Benoît Rochet, said the facility could face severe disruption as they don’t know how a post-Brexit customs and border system would operate.
“We know there is Brexit but we don’t know exactly what Brexit means.”
The UK voted to leave the EU via referendum held in mid-2016, which saw just over half of voters cast their votes in favor of exiting the bloc.
Earlier this year, EU-UK negotiations in Brussels yielded a draft Brexit deal showing progress and agreement on a number of matters, such as Britain’s financial settlement to the union.
However, a solution to the post-Brexit legal structure of the Irish border is yet to be found, and negotiators are having trouble finding common ground on a handful of other key issues.