The Chartered Institute of Taxation held a roundtable on Customs and Brexit, in Parliament, earlier this month. Glyn Fullelove, Deputy President, Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), chaired the meeting and the parliamentary sponsor of the event was Kirsty Blackman MP.

The House of Lords External Affairs Sub- committee held the final two evidence sessions of its inquiry into Brexit and customs arrangements last week (July 19). In the first session evidence was given by Jon Thompson, Chief Executive, HMRC and Jim Harra, Deputy Chief Executive, HMRC. In the second session Financial Secretary Mel Stride and DExEU minister Robin Walker were the witnesses. The Chairman of the committee is Baroness Verma. Most of the questions related to the White Paper in which the Government outlined a facilitated customs arrangement (FCA).

The House of Commons has passed a motion calling on the Government to include the establishment of an effective UK-EU customs union as an objective in Brexit negotiations. The motion was passed without a vote after the Government instructed its MPs to abstain and most opponents of such a customs union stayed away. (The full motion appears at the bottom of this report.)


The Government have been heavily defeated on a cross-party amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill calling for them to explore a customs union with the EU, during report stage in the House of Lords.

Eighteen peers took part in a debate on a motion to take note of the future of United Kingdom trade and customs policy in the light of two recent white papers (Preparing for our future UK trade policy (Cm 9470) and Customs Bill: legislating for the UK’s future customs (Cm 9502)).

In the 15 months since the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, it seems that not a day goes by without articles, webexes or seminars discussing the implications of our forthcoming departure, or the sight or sound of politicians and civil servants of some shape or variety drawing often contradictory red lines.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has urged the Government to act swiftly to turn the proposals in its new paper for a future customs relationship with the EU into agreed measures that will give businesses a long lead-in period before Brexit.

So, in two years time the bell will toll, the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ will take effect and the UK will leave the European Union. What will this mean for our tax system?

Yesterday’s vote in favour of leaving the European Union has significant implications for tax professionals.