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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Britain spends million to boost border controls with EU

Britain’s Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove on Sunday announced a £705 million funding package meant to beef up the U.K.'s border controls ahead of the country's exit from the EU customs union at year's end.

The package, which relates only to the external borders of England, Scotland and Wales, includes funding for new control posts meant to reinforce existing checkpoints, data infrastructure to improve the flow of traffic and people and 500 extra staff for the U.K.’s Border Force.

Additional measures aimed at addressing the end of the transition period in Northern Ireland are expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Gove compared leaving the EU to “moving house” and said that “instead of being lodgers,” Britain was now “choosing a new place ... where we’re in control.”

Gove argued the package would ensure that the U.K. was “ready for full independence” when the transition period concludes on January 1, and would enable Britain to have “the world’s most effective border by 2025.”

"Modernizing our border means we can introduce a migration policy that ensures we’re open to the world’s best talent," he added.

The new package comes just days after a leaked letter from International Trade Secretary Liz Truss raised concerns about the readiness of Britain's ports, and on the same week that the European Commission set out guidelines for businesses, governments and citizens to prepare for the end of the transition period, regardless of whether and what kind of deal is agreed between the EU and the U.K.

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