How Theresa May can navigate the customs conundrum | KPMG | UK
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Brexit and trade: How Theresa May can navigate the customs conundrum

How Theresa May can navigate the customs conundrum

KPMG’s Bob Jones shares how the UK can navigate the customs union conundrum.


Director and Brexit Customs & Indirect Tax Lead

KPMG in the UK


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Prime Minister Theresa May recently shared her plans to take Britain out of the EU’s Single Market that enshrines free movement of labour, goods, services and capital. However, the UK’s future inside the Customs Union remains up for grabs. Read more about how changes in Customs Duty and VAT could impact your business using our assessment tool

In this article, Bob Jones, head of KPMG’s Customs, Excise & International Trade team discusses the importance of the Customs Union; why the trade deals of Norway, Turkey and Canada can’t easily be replicated for the UK, and the best way forward. 


  • If Britain left the Customs Union with no other arrangements in place, all UK-EU trade would require customs clearance
  • Imports of goods into any EU country, including the UK, are subject to 35 different duty rates
  • A new customs arrangement needs new rules of origin and protocols to deal with tariffs at the UK border
  • The EU currently collects only €4.2 billion in duties from the UK a year. 

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