In evidence to the Treasury Select Committee this morning, Jim Harra, second Permanent Secretary at HM Revenue and Customs, referring to the Government’s ‘max fac’ customs option, said “a highly streamlined customs arrangement … would not remove the need for a hard border in Ireland.”
Commenting, Jo Swinson MP, leading supporter of the Open Britain campaign, said:
“Ten days ago HMRC told MPs that ‘max fac’ would cost British businesses £20 billion a year and today they have revealed that ‘max fac’ means a hard border in Ireland.
“If the Government are serious about avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland, they must now admit that ‘max fac’ is a dead letter.
“It is time for ministers to admit they have no workable solutions to avoiding a hard border in Ireland or to avoid lumbering business with new taxes and bureaucracy because they have refused to even contemplate staying in both the Customs Union and Europe’s economic area.
“Next Tuesday Parliament will be asked to vote on both these issues. To protect the Irish peace process and to avoid crippling costs on business they must back the Lords’ amendments to keep us in the Customs Union and Europe’s economic area.”
Notes to editors
The answer can be seen here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/7cddfeee-696e-4804-ab21-28b8c28bd033?in=11:31:33&out=11:31:51