“There will be no tariffs and no checks”

Boris Johnson interview, Andrew Marr Show

December 1, 2019

Claim

When Andrew Marr asked Johnson whether there will there be tariffs and checks on goods moving from Northern Ireland into Great Britain after Brexit the prime minister replied “absolutely not”. 

When Marr put to Johnson that his own Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay, said there will have to be checks, Johnson said “there will be no tariffs and no checks”. 

Facts

Marr was referring to Stephen Barclay’s comments to the House of Lords European Union committee, which made clear that under the Brexit deal paperwork would be required for goods sent between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The government’s own impact assessment on the withdrawal agreement says: “Goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be required to complete both import declarations and Entry Summary (ENS) Declarations because the UK will be applying the EU’s UCC (Union Custom Code) in Northern Ireland. This will result in additional administrative costs to businesses.”

I wrote to the Conservative Party on 29 November asking if it stood by the claim and if so what evidence it had to support it. I asked for a response by 2 December. If and when I receive one, I will note the fact.

Verdict

This was a lie Johnson has repeated on numerous occasions. 

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