LONDON — European Union, European Economic Area and Swiss identity cards will not be accepted as a valid travel document for entry to the U.K. from October 2021, the British government announced Thursday.
An updated Border Operating Model published by the Cabinet Office on Thursday provides additional details on the rules that will govern the U.K.’s borders with the EU from 2021.
“Identity cards are among the least secure documents seen at the border and ending their use will strengthen our security as the UK takes back control of its borders at the end of the transition period,” the government said in a statement. Irish and Gibraltarian citizens will be exempted from this requirement.
The plan also confirms plans to make it mandatory — “after extensive engagement with industry” — for all truck drivers to obtain an access permit to drive into Kent and on to the Channel crossing at Dover after the Brexit transition period ends on December 31.
It says an “easy-to-use” service will allow hauliers to check if they have the correct customs documentation and obtain a Kent Access Permit. The proposal, floated by Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove last month, had met with a furious backlash from MPs, with some suggesting that it equated to the creation of a border in England.
Ministers will release further details on how this permit will work as part of its response to the Department for Transport’s consultation on Operation Brock — the government’s plan to prevent border disruption in Kent.
The 138-page document gives more information on the locations selected for inland border infrastructure such as lorry parks, which will be used to carry out customs checks on goods headed to the EU.
The government also announced that it will use an exemption within EU state aid rules to increase support for customs intermediaries companies through the Customs Grant Scheme. So far, the scheme has granted more than £80 million to these companies for training, recruitment and IT purposes.
“With fewer than three months to go, businesses need to prepare now for new procedures whether or not we reach a trade agreement with the EU, so that they can seize the significant opportunities that lie ahead,” said Gove.
The freight industry had demanded an updated Border Operating Model amid concerns that the first version lacked important details on online systems hauliers will need to use to file paperwork before heading to ports.
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