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Liz Truss warns UK post-Brexit border plans could face WTO challenge

Liz Truss wrote to Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove to set out four concerns about plans to manage the border with the EU | Leon Neal/Getty Images

Liz Truss warns UK post-Brexit border plans could face WTO challenge

International trade secretary’s letter shows the tension between government departments over the plans.

By

7/8/20, 10:30 PM CET

Updated 7/9/20, 9:10 AM CET

LONDON — Britain could face a legal challenge from the World Trade Organization about its post-Brexit border plans, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss warned Cabinet colleagues.

Truss wrote to Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove to set out four concerns about plans to manage the border with the EU once the Brexit transition period ends in December.

Her letter reveals the tensions in government over the post-Brexit border plan and the implications any hiccups could have for Britain as it seeks to forge new trading relationships around the world.

In the letter, first reported by Business Insider and seen by POLITICO, Truss said her “key areas of concern on border policy risks” were a possible WTO challenge, a lack of sufficient border controls, failures in tariff management and differences in the Northern Ireland regime.

Britain has agreed to waive border checks on imports from the EU for the first six months after the transition period but the EU has not agreed the same for U.K. exports. This means the U.K. could be deemed as giving the bloc preferential treatment, which is against WTO rules.

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