This week the government has decided to ask the EU for more time on Brexit. There is some doubt as to whether the other EU heads will approve the requested deadline extension to June. All the noise from the continent suggests they will insist the withdrawal agreement is approved by parliament, before any extension can be granted. This still seems far from likely.
Meanwhile, the BBC has reported some figures indicating the progress of traders registering for schemes to assist them after Brexit.
In the two and a half years to January this year, HMRC received 749 applications from businesses for AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) certification. Of these, only 365 authorisations were actually granted. How many of the 749 were repeat submissions from the same business is unknown.
Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) were announced in February this year to facilitate Ro-Ro traffic in a ‘no-deal’ scenario. HMRC encouraged 145,000 VAT registered businesses to apply, but by mid-March there had been less than 8,000 applications.
Perhaps most concerning, is that out of an 240,000 traders believed to need an EORI number, HMRC report just 57,000 registrations by 8 March.
Whilst the frustration of Brexit politics drags out the uncertainty, it is essential to be ready for any outcome. See below for further details, and a link to the latest government advice: