Brexit deal “will if anything allow our companies and our exporters to do even more business with our European friends.”

Boris Johnson, UK and EU Trade Deal announcement speech

December 24, 2020

Facts

During Boris Johnson’s UK and EU Trade Deal announcement speech, he said

that the deal “will if anything allow our companies and our exporters to do even more business with our European friends.”

Jim Harra, chief executive of HM Revenue & Customs, the following month told MPs that the number of customs forms needed to trade with the European Union under the Brexit deal “is not materially different from a no-deal situation”. The Times reported on 22ndJanuary that “Harra said that revenue estimates from October 2019, which found that the cost of no-deal to UK and EU business would be £15 billion a year, still held true under the deal, with half the bill landing on each side. HMRC’s impact assessment said that British businesses would need to handle 215 million more import and export declarations a year.”

Verdict

Bearing in mind the exceptional circumstance of Covid, it is too early to reach a final judgment on the success of Johnson’s trade deal. To be fair, trade with Europe since Brexit has not collapsed. However no evidence has surfaced since to vindicate the Prime Minister’s claim that his deal would allow “our companies and our exporters to do even more business with our European friends.”

Examples of false statements about Britain’s trading relationship with the EU can be found here, here, here, here, herehere, here, here, here, here, here and here

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