Post-Brexit border checks set to cost UK more than £4.7 billion

21 May 2024

The National Audit Office (NAO) has warned that the UK is set to spend more than £4.7 billion on post-Brexit border checks.

The NAO also stated that since the UK left the EU border processes have 'operated largely as intended', but businesses have faced rising costs and additional administrative burdens.

It warned that the government has repeatedly changed and deferred plans for the introduction of full import controls, causing uncertainty for UK firms and generating extra costs for ports.

Commenting on the issue, Gareth Davies, Head of the NAO, said: 'The UK leaving the EU created a large-scale change in arrangements for the movement of goods across the border. However, more than three years after the end of the transition period, it is still not clear when full controls will be in place.

'The border strategy has ambitious plans to use technology and data to facilitate trade while managing risks. To achieve its objectives, government requires strong delivery and accountability – including a more realistic approach to digital transformation – together with effective monitoring to enable future improvements.'