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It’s all about trust

It seems as if the EU really does not want a mutually beneficial trading arrangement with the UK, how else is one supposed to interpret the threatening overtures emanating from Brussels. It is appears clear that Mr Barnier’s approach has everything to do with preserving the political construct which is the EU and not the economic fortunes of the 27 member states. A case in point is the ‘border’ between the Republic and Ulster.

A significant proportion of goods imported into the UK come from non EU countries and are handled using a straightforward Simple Administrative Document (SAD) and a perfectly adequate computer system Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF). Your readers will be delighted to know that in the event that the computer fails there is a backup system. CHIEF’s replacement simply called Customs Declaration Services (CDS) is being trialled and is scheduled to be operational in early 2019. What some of your readers may not know is that goods moving to and from the EU are managed using the exact same system. It seems glaringly obvious that CHIEF and its successor would cater for easy movement between the two countries, after all we trust the Irish.

And trust is an essential component in the current import and export regime, whether in to the EU or the rest of the world, governments rely on importers and exporters or their agents to make honest declarations of all freight movements. Many have ‘Trusted Trader’ status and goods transited under their control are moved from ports and airports with the minimum of delay, fuss and bother. In my own experience of being both an importer and exporter to Europe and the wider world the greatest delays suffered are due to extreme weather conditions at the UK port of entry or a shortage of container transport UK side. HMRC ‘spot checks’ are designed to reduce any delays in getting goods away from a congested transit area.

Claims that food will be spoiled as it sits waiting to be checked at ports is the stuff of nonsense and will only occur if and when a state wishes it to happen. Somehow I don’t think French, Italian or Spanish farmers will sit idly by while their politicians attempt to delay the export of their produce to the UK in order to satisfy a bureaucrats tick list.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

British jobs come first

Kevin Small (Feb 10) is disputing that it was the EU wide tendering system that bankrupted Carillion and has also put the bigger company Capita into financial difficulty.

The same EU tendering system has more recently caused Stagecoach and Virgin to lose hundreds of million of pounds running the East Coast Mainline on a disastrous contract that has no chance of ever making any profits.

The worst example of the EU tendering system was when Bombardier lost the contract to make 1200 rail carriages in Britain. David Cameron gave this massive infrastructure project to Siemens in Germany.

David Cameron said at the time that under EU law he was not allowed to give priority to British jobs for British workers.

The EU wide tendering system has been a disaster for British industry. Carillion, Capita, Stagecoach, Virgin and Bombardier have all lost millions of pounds because of the legal requirements of the EU wide tendering system.

Steve Halden, Beaufort Green, Swindon

Personal interests

Recently a government minister stated on Brexit that “It is time for evidence, not dogma, to show the way. The government must act in the country’s best interest, not ideology and popularism.”

Instead of constantly moaning about civil servants, Jacob Rees-Mogg and his cronies need to actually produce the evidence to support the financial benefits of Brexit, that does not include the widely discredited claims plastered on the side of buses!

Reputedly the Prime Minister has declared that Brexit will go ahead even it means that the country does end up markedly poorer.

This is not surprising. The wealthy Conservative donors and newspaper owners with off-shore, tax avoidance accounts are driving Brexit, desperate to escape the EU crackdown on such accounts, to make them more transparent. They want the rest of us to continue to bear the burden of taxation, whilst they enjoy their plutocratic lifestyles with impunity.

A P Milroy, Bellefield Crescent, Trowbridge