A £705m funding package to boost infrastructure and recruit more staff on Britain’s border has been announced as the UK prepares to leave the EU customs union at the end of the year.
Plans include new border control posts and 500 extra Border Force staff.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said the move would help the UK “seize the opportunities” post-Brexit.
The funding follows a leaked letter from International Trade Secretary Liz Truss raising concerns about the readiness of Britain’s ports, BBC reported.
Under the plans, new border posts will be created inland where existing ports have no room to expand to cope with the extra checks that will be required at the existing entry points.
It relates only to the external borders of England, Scotland and Wales. The government is expected to publish specific guidance and measures for Northern Ireland in the coming weeks.
The new funding will include up to £470m to build port and inland infrastructure, and £235m will be allocated for IT systems and staffing.
The money for IT and staffing includes:
-£100m to develop HM Revenue and Customs systems to reduce the burden on traders
-£20m on new equipment
-£15m towards building new data infrastructure to improve border flow and management
-£10m to recruit around 500 more Border Force staff.
The UK left the EU on 31 January and is now in an 11-month transition period, during which existing trading rules and membership of the customs union and single market apply.