back to article MPs slam HMRC's 'deeply worrying' lack of post-Brexit customs system

MPs have today warned of the "catastrophic" scenario of UK taxmen at HMRC failing to have a back-up system in place if its Customs Declaration Service (CDS) programme is not ready in time for Brexit. A failed customs system could lead to huge disruption for businesses, with delays potentially causing massive queues at Dover …

Anonymous Coward

No problem ...

... I'm sure DXC or some other large consultancy (or better, a whole consortium of them) can get this done on time for a reasonable price

15
1
Silver badge

Re: No problem ...

You forgot the 'joke' icon.

27
0
Silver badge

Re: No problem ...

It's frequently hard to tell if it's sarcasm, or just some deluded Brexiter's opinion.

28
6
Anonymous Coward

re: forgot joke icon ...

... I had to post anon because I work for DXC... and they forgot the joke icon on my employment contract.

29
0

Re: No problem ...

Actually the issue is more to do with the deluded remainers who told the Civil Service not to bother preparing for a Leave vote because it would never happen...

Possibly the same deluded remainers who told us Europe would never have a joint armed force...http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/emmanuel-emmanuel-macron-eu-army-joint-defence-budget-french-president-nato-britain-brexit-russia-a7968346.html

5
31
Silver badge

Re: re: forgot joke icon ...

... I had to post anon because I work for DXC... and they forgot the joke icon on my employment contract.

pretty sure they didn't

:-(

1
0
Silver badge

Re: No problem ...

Actually the issue is more to do with the deluded remainers who told the Civil Service not to bother preparing for a Leave vote because it would never happen...

So knowing that government policy up until the referendum was to remain in the EU and thus not waste resources on Leave, it was the Brexiteers who took office after the referendum who decided they didn't need to do any preparation and could rush into Brexit and invoke Art.50 because it would be soooo simple and would be all over by Christmas...

Yes, the remainers who decided not to prepare for a Leave vote, were deluded in not thinking a Leave result was possible, just not in the way you suggest.

18
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: No problem ...

>Possibly the same deluded remainers who told us Europe would never have a joint armed force

And what is the problem with a Europe wide defence force? - Why duplicate defence spending when you don't need to? Why not leverage increased requirements to drive purchase price down?

18
3
Silver badge
WTF?

Re: No problem ...

Possibly the same deluded remainers who told us Europe would never have a joint armed force

The UK has always blocked military integration amongst EU countries, which it has seen as a competitor to the influence that NATO has. So, now we are not going to be in the EU, the UK has been sidelined and the rest of the EU countries are doing what they like. This is an inevitable consequence of the UK's departure. What's your problem?

9
0
Silver badge

Re: No problem ...

"Why not leverage increased requirements to drive purchase price down?"

Just like the Tornado,

1
0
Silver badge

Well, if they only need "a relatively small sum" I'm sure there'll be some left out of the £350 million per-week we'll be taking back control of, right?

40
3
Gold badge
Unhappy

"I'm sure there'll be some left out of the £350 million per-week we'll be taking back control of"

Oh no, that was supposed to be the increase in NHS funding.

Although latest thinking seems to be that will be lost in Brexit costing.

So no my little Brexit voters, your NHS won't be getting that money after all.

Perhaps in a few decades, once all the other Brexit bills have been settled.

Maybe.

27
5
Silver badge

Re: "I'm sure there'll be some left out of the £350 million per-week ...

"So no my little Brexit voters, your NHS won't be getting that money after all."

Not that it ever was except, maybe, on whatever planet BoJo inhabits.

And why, when I reply to an existing post with a long title, does el Reg barf because the title's too long?

11
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: And why, when I reply to an existing post with a long title, does...

perhaps the extra 4 characters from "Re: " takes it over the length limit..?

7
0
Anonymous Coward

re: my little Brexit voters, your NHS

I wouldn't care that much if it was indeed _their_ NHS. Unfortunately it happens to be everybody's :/

12
0
Silver badge

A lot of these numbers ignore that even if we can afford these extra amounts of money post-Brexit it will be because £350 million will amount to about 4 euros by then.

10
1
Anonymous Coward

"However, it has admitted that major risks remain, meaning CDS might not be fully operating by the planned date of January 2019"

The single biggest risk on this register is that HMRC and its suppliers have no idea what post-Brexit customs will actually look like.

That's also why Treasury nixed extra spending on the CHIEF uplift (wot, you think HMRC just chose not to do it?). They felt it wasn't justifiable unless we knew the post-Brexit risk, which obviously depends on us agreeing something with the EU.

27
0
Silver badge

"depends on us agreeing something with the EU"

That sounds like hard coding business logic into a system if ever I saw it.

9
2
Silver badge

The single biggest risk on this register is that HMRC and its suppliers have no idea what post-Brexit customs will actually look like.

That might be so, but from the tone of the headline and history, we can expect Westminster Brexiteers and their media allies to blame HMRC for not having a system in place, because (naturally) it isn't their fault they put themselves on the critical path (by invoking Art.50) and failing to deliver a draft settlement in time for the nation to be properly prepared for life after 11pm on 29-Mar-2019.

19
3
Silver badge

Gah!

With all the complications now coming in to view, stuff like this, the NI/Republic border, financial passporting and so on I'm beginning to think "Why bother?"

Funny that none of this was mentioned in the Referendum campaign and which finally focussed on immigration and the mythical "£350 million"

What really gets me is the thought that if it really does go pear-shaped and we are reduced to a third party supplicant at the EU's door will we be able to hold those responsible to account? Probably not as they will, most likely, be spending more time with their money in the likes of the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda or the Channel islands.

19
0
Silver badge

Re: Gah!

With all the complications now coming in to view, stuff like this, the NI/Republic border, financial passporting and so on I'm beginning to think "Why bother?"

Funny that none of this was mentioned in the Referendum campaign and which finally focussed on immigration and the mythical "£350 million"

I think you'll find that the Irish border and potential loss of financial work, and lots more besides, WERE indeed mentioned - by the Remain side, and were dismissed as "Project Fear" by the Brexiteers.

The Brexiteers promised the extra £350M per week, and cleverly focussed the campaign on immigration in the last few weeks - something that the Remain campaign seemed unprepared for and couldn't counter.

It was a piss-poor campaign. Both sides deserved to lose.

22
1
Silver badge

Re: Gah!

@ nematoad

"With all the complications now coming in to view, stuff like this"

What complications? We are leaving, the EU wont/cant negotiate, we are out. What amazes me is the belief that proving total incompetence or bone headed ignorance will keep us in the EU is taken as acceptable by those who didnt get the result they wanted.

"the NI/Republic border"

What a poor excuse to give up. This is the EU's problem, they want a border. The north dont want one, the south dont want one, the EU wants one. Its the EU's problem. For some reason the UK offered to do a soft border but the EU seem to want a Berlin wall or iron curtain approach. If the EU want it they can go do it. Not our problem unless we actually want a border for some reason.

"financial passporting"

What problem is this? The banks themselves have sorted this out much to the irritation of the EU. The green eyes who are gagging to get some of the action got almost nothing. The businesses got around the EU tantrum.

"I'm beginning to think "Why bother?""

And this is why I dont understand the remain argument. Take a load of things that are not a problem, pretend it is and then say 'but its too hard'.

"Funny that none of this was mentioned in the Referendum campaign and which finally focussed on immigration and the mythical "£350 million""

Leave had such a poor campaign I assumed it was there to make remain look good. Then I saw the remain campaign and saw the bar could actually be lower! Is it the end of western civilisation yet? No. The economic recovery we have been unable to get since 2008 fires up from the referendum result, are we doomed like Carney and Osborne claimed? No. Oddly the only thing to come has been a poor show from the EU. If they cant negotiate with us how the hell can they negotiate with any of the big players?

"What really gets me is the thought that if it really does go pear-shaped and we are reduced to a third party supplicant at the EU's door will we be able to hold those responsible to account?"

I do love this. We got the same kind of threats when it was the euro vs sterling. With the same rubbish arguments. And when we were proved right the word eurosceptic vanished! Thats because we were right. So when do you lot get to cough up all the money given to the EU in contributions, eurotech, lost trade? Cmon lets see your money. But no. If the country does fine outside the EU (as expected) you will disappear into the crowd just like those euro champions.

"Probably not as they will, most likely, be spending more time with their money in the likes of the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda or the Channel islands."

And who are they? Some shadowy cabal who run the world from the office of the illuminate? Maybe headed by Elvis.

2
27
Silver badge

Re: Gah!

@ smudge

"It was a piss-poor campaign. Both sides deserved to lose."

I give you an up vote for that

3
6
Silver badge

Re: Gah!

Both sides deserved to lose.

We are all set to lose.

Well, except for the likes of John Redwood, who gets a hundred grand a year for advising wealthy people to move their wealth offshore before Brexit.

16
2
Silver badge

Re: Gah!

@nematoad

will we be able to hold those responsible to account?

Of course not. In any self respecting society the people would be polishing the lamp-posts and placing orders for lengths of quality hemp rope and pitchforks, while filling tubs of tar and plucking chickens, ready for the great day of reckoning. In the UK? Nah, we'll just re-elect them.

12
0
Silver badge

Re: Gah!

Well, except for the likes of John Redwood, who gets a hundred grand a year for advising wealthy people to move their wealth offshore before Brexit.

LIES! FAKE NEWS! It's £180 grand.

7
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Gah!

will we be able to hold those responsible to account?

Ironically for once - yes.

All those 70 year olds who voted leave because of what Maggie did will see the value of their pensions drop and the price of imported cat food rise

All the tattooed shell suit wearing guardians of English racial purity will see their jobs go to Chinese and India sub-continent immigrants that can be brought in once the UK is free of Eu rules and is desperate for a trade deal with China + India.

Anyone who worked in the countryside, away from the London media elite, will be able to buy cheap US chicken, spray-on cheese and cheap bread from midwest wheat once we have a US trade deal negotiated between the UK and USA as equals.

11
1
Silver badge

Re: Gah!

"It was a piss-poor campaign. Both sides deserved to lose."

Both sides have. One side has yet to realise that.

6
0
Silver badge

Re: Gah!

"All those 70 year olds who voted leave"

Not all of us 70 year olds voted leave. Still, stereotyping is easier than thinking.

4
4

Re: Gah!

@codejunky

"the NI/Republic border"

Oh come on please - i know you support brexit but the reality distortion field is strong on this one. Please try reading up before you post nonsense.

NI and the RoI don't want a border - true.

UK wants the border at the EU ports in RoI and won't entertain the hard border being at the NI ports. The EU doesn't like that idea because it messes up free movement within the EU.

Both sides want a proper border with customs checks etc they just can't agree where it would be.

The technology for a totally soft border isn't there yet (check out the soft border problems between Norway and sweeden) its also very expensive which would put a dent in the magical £350 milllion a week we will apparently (not) be saving.

To claim it is all the EUs fault is not just disengenous but a lie.

9
1
Silver badge

Re: Gah!

@ Alt C

"Oh come on please - i know you support brexit but the reality distortion field is strong on this one. Please try reading up before you post nonsense."

See below

"NI and the RoI don't want a border - true."

What I said.

"UK wants the border at the EU ports in RoI and won't entertain the hard border being at the NI ports. The EU doesn't like that idea because it messes up free movement within the EU."

No. What? Eh? The UK has made suggestions because the EU demands 3 things- money, EU citizens get special treatment and Irish border.

"Both sides want a proper border with customs checks etc they just can't agree where it would be."

The EU want a border because it isnt a cartel if there is a huge gaping hole in it. The UK offered a soft border but the EU reject it because the EU cant have a cartel if there is a huge hole in it.

"The technology for a totally soft border isn't there yet"

I know, the UK knows as we tried it before. Just to repeat- the EU want a border because it isnt a cartel if there is a huge hole in it.

"its also very expensive "

Which is why the EU want the UK to make the border because the EU cant have a cartel if there is a huge hole in it.

"To claim it is all the EUs fault is not just disengenous but a lie."

See above and then take the first part of your comment I quoted and imagine me saying it to you.

0
13

Re: Gah!

No. What? Eh? The UK has made suggestions because the EU demands 3 things- money, EU citizens get special treatment and Irish border.

No the UK wants a border at the RoI ports because migrants - they could check documentation at NI ports but won't do that.

money - we agreed to be in a club with fees for a certain period - if I signed a 5 year tennancy agreement which didn't have a refund clause - i'd have to carry on paying - they are not demanding anything just expecting us to honor our agreements. - you know the way big grown up countries do.

EU citizens get special treatment - just like we expect all those pensioners we exported to spain and france to get special treatment. - personally I'd like the EU to tell us to piss off and see how well we do without their nurses etc and with 1m new pensioners to cope with - that will be fun - mind you we could always rob all those poor commonwealth countries of their trained nurses instead - that will be fair.

Irish border - once again both sides wanted one. your claiming the UK disn't want one doesn't change the facts.

12
2
Silver badge

Re: Gah!

Not all of us 70 year olds voted leave. Still, stereotyping is easier than thinking.

Presumably the comment applies to - all those who voted leave ?

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Gah!

UK wants the border at the EU ports in RoI

How exactly does that work?

Eu national arrives in Dublin - is not allowed in because they might walk across the non-existent Ni border?

Truck load of American chlorinated chicken arrives in Belfast and is refused because it would be banned in the south?

8
0
Silver badge

Re: Gah!

"the EU demands 3 things- money, EU citizens get special treatment and Irish border."

And we, apparently, want out. Well, it's us making the initial approach and if we really want out then we just have to accept the price because it's the EU that's in a position to set it. You never realised that before you voted "yes"? Why-ever not?

7
1
Silver badge

Re: Gah!

@ Alt C

"money - we agreed to be in a club with fees for a certain period"

How much? The laughed at 60bn figure that was discredited or the 100bn that was painstakingly line by line discredited? And I dont recall us agreeing to be in the club for a certain period, otherwise we wouldnt be able to leave. But we are and we can and the EU is entitled to nothing. We should (as a moral argument) pay our existing bill which was something like 35bn ish. Be aware that part of that 'bill' is government backing of loans, in this case the EU backing of loans. So if we are on the hook for our whole portion then the EU must be incompetent as it loaned money with no chance of getting it back. Feel free to say they are incompetent or by the same token you agree with their bill.

"EU citizens get special treatment - just like we expect all those pensioners we exported to spain and france to get special treatment"

Do we? EU citizens wanting to remain here apply and get UK passports, UK citizens over there get EU passports. How is that complicated? The EU wanting its court to rule over EU citizens in this country (their demand) is an amusing joke but no.

"personally I'd like the EU to tell us to piss off"

We agree on something

"Irish border - once again both sides wanted one. your claiming the UK disn't want one doesn't change the facts."

UK soft border to appease EU proposed. EU rejects. EU wants much stronger (aka hard) border. EU gonna be disappointed and throw toys out of pram. Not our problem.

@ Doctor Syntax

"And we, apparently, want out. Well, it's us making the initial approach and if we really want out then we just have to accept the price because it's the EU that's in a position to set it."

Wow thats funny but sad if you mean it. We want out, thereby we leave. The EU can do nothing about that. You see the lack of papers on our negotiators desks at the beginning, thats because its the EU who must start the negotiation and since they wont negotiate we owe them nothing, nada, zip, nil, null and none. The entitlement attitude gets them nowhere because we dont need anything from them. We can leave without their approval no problem. Now if the EU would like mutual trade so would we. But they dont. They want a hard border, a bunch of cash and incredible rights over our country. And they are entitled to? You guessed it- nothing, nada, zip, nil, null and none.

"You never realised that before you voted "yes"? Why-ever not?"

Because I am not desperately routing for the EU to the exclusion of fact.

0
7

Re: Gah!

Norway has freedom of movement since it's in EEA. UK is not going to have any of that once it's out of the EU. This is going to be closer to the Russia - EU border or Ukraine - EU border. You'll not be allowed closer than 10 meters to the border from the Ireland and UK side. Visa requirements to enter Ireland and so on. That's just the easy part to start with.

3
0
Gold badge
Unhappy

"Not all of us 70 year olds voted leave. Still, stereotyping is easier than "

Let's say the demographics of the leave voters were toward the upper end of the age range and the lower end of the education range.

However there were exceptions to both rules.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Gah!

Both sides deserved to lose.

The way it's turned out, both sides did lose (one way or another). Sadly, so did the rest of the country.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Gah!

The technology for a totally soft border isn't there yet (check out the soft border problems between Norway and sweeden)

And as a matter of principle, there can never be a soft border. Remember 'taking back control of our borders' - isn't that what this whole farce is all about - making sure that nasty foreigners can't enter beautiful green UK-land without permission? So there has to be a hard border around UKland to make sure there aren't any nasty Irish people sneaking in to UKland in the boot of a car - or even worse, a (gasp) Pole!

Of course, you could just move the hard border to Holyhead/Liverpool/Stranraer and make NI de-facto part of a united Ireland. Which will go down like a pint of three-week old cold sick with certain (armed) members of the NI population.

Yep, Brexit will be so easy.

6
1
Silver badge

Re: Gah!

@ Pen-y-gors

"And as a matter of principle, there can never be a soft border."

Thats why the EU rejects it. The EU wants a hard border otherwise Ireland as a whole will gain the benefits of being in and out.

"Remember 'taking back control of our borders'"

Economics, trade, law, sovereignty and borders. Yup borders are a reason. We do what we like with our own, including in Ireland.

"making sure that nasty foreigners can't enter beautiful green UK-land without permission"

from my perspective this is an odd statement repeated only by racists and remain supporters. I am not sure if remain supporters hold the same views as racists, desire the UK to become racist or seriously need to tell themselves something to make themselves feel better about leaving the EU.

"Yep, Brexit will be so easy."

It will if we come to no agreement with the EU. That way the UK can do what it likes about the Irish border that the Irish dont want and we obviously dont seriously care about (back to your comment on soft borders). I wonder if the EU will have the guts to piss of the Irish. I wonder if the EU dreams of a Berlin wall kind of thing. But I wonder more why our gov seems to insist on trying to negotiate with the EU who obviously are either unwilling or unable to negotiate.

0
2
Gold badge
Unhappy

make NI de-facto part of a united Ireland...go down like three-week old cold sick

with certain (armed) members of the NI population.

Who Teresa May is not-in-coalition with.

She and Arlene Foster are just good friends and friends do each other favors from time to time.

The Conservative govt gives NI an extra £Bn and they agree to turn out for crucial votes to stop the Conservatives calling another election and BoJo/Rees-Mogg/Other right wing nutter to take over.

3
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Failure in waiting...

"HMRC told us that CDS is one of its seven most important programmes..."

If that isnt the signature of an impending program failure, I dont know what is...

25
0
Anonymous Coward

Brexish?

Nev'r hurd of it, gov'nor. Rather we've got deez IT contractors nex we gotta ring'. What mass exodus / national IT shortage problem???... 'None here'!!!

4
0
Silver badge

We're fecked.

So, clearly the chances of HMRC getting a new, tested, working system in place by March 2019 are approx zero, let's be honest. We're stuffed.

BUT...once we've pulled the plug on A50 we're still stuffed, because neither will they have a system in place to handle the 'changes in the EU customs regulations' that are coming.

The only good news is there won't be any more nasty reports of immigrants dying in the back of lorries, as they'd have to be insane to want to move to the UK if Brexit happens.

35
1
FAIL

Re: We're fecked.

We are indeed totally and utterly screwed.

There are 353 working days from tomorrow to design, develop, test and deploy a new customs system when no requirements have been specified because HMRC don't know what they need and won't until the politicians finally pull their fingers out. And when they've managed to do that, then they need to debate options papers at leisure, allocate funding, bicker over budgets, let themselves be seduced by the consultancies' PowerPoint snake oil and eventually, long after the March 2019 deadline, award a contract to one of the usual suspects who will squeeze HMRC until the pips squeak.

I really despair at the UK these days.

36
1
Silver badge
Stop

Re: We're fecked.

Yes, the lorry park formerly known as South-East Kent will be pretty jammed if things proceed as unplanned. It would be quite entertaining if they had to go to paper-based forms while waiting for the final bugs to be ironed out of a system that hasn't even been specified yet.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: We're fecked.

let themselves be seduced by the consultancies' PowerPoint snake oil

As a former employee of the Inland Revenue, ancestor to HMRC, I rarely find cause to insist on due credit being given, but after outsourcing all their IT development 20 years ago they have over the past few years in-housed much of the capability back from the quondam Aspire partners. CapGemini and Fujitsu still have their claws into some things, but all the new whizzy stuff is being done by arms-length pseudo-Civil Servants. They have, it seems, finally learned at least some of the lessons.

They're still over the barrel for CHIEF, as it runs on proprietary mainframe software which will no doubt carry a hefty licence burden if it needs to be scaled up. There are no cost-free options to sort out this particular mess.

11
0
Silver badge

Re: We're fecked.

Don't forget that all the systems that have to work with customs must also be upgraded and tested. Every firm that imports or exports must have its in-house systems working by B-Day, and they can't even start until the new system is defined.

7
0
Silver badge
Joke

Re: We're fecked.

Yes, the lorry park formerly known as South-East Kent will be pretty jammed if things proceed as unplanned

If it's caused by the computer system not being ready, could they rename "Operation Stack" to "OpenStack"?

3
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017