back to article HMRC: 30 months to prep Northern Ireland backstop systems, 24 for customs

With just two years to go until the end of the Brexit transition period, HMRC has said its preparations for a Northern Ireland backstop could take up to 30 months – once Whitehall has said how the mechanism will work. Effectively, this means there is no definitive date on when it could be operational. It is the latest in a …

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  1. Mike Shepherd
    Devil

    Muhahahaha...

    30 months? For the Civil Service, that's practically instantaneous. It ain't gonna happen, lady.

    1. Andrew Williams

      Re: Muhahahaha...

      30 months = they have no intention to even try.

      1. JassMan Silver badge

        Re: Muhahahaha...

        I am sure the hard brexiters are saying this will be the easiest computer program ever written.

        In reality it will be even worse than the childcare payment system which I believe they started on in 2014, released to the public in March 2017 and still doesn't work for most users over 18 months later.

        More likely it will take 48 months to RC then another 24 months to get it working.

        1. Just Enough

          Re: Muhahahaha...

          "I am sure the hard brexiters are saying this will be the easiest computer program ever written."

          There will be a program, and the EU will pay for it!

          Anything is possible when you're living in rainbows and unicorns Brexitland.

          1. Chris Parsons

            Re: Muhahahaha...

            From the downvotes, it seems even The Register has readers that still think Brexit is going to be great.

    2. 's water music Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Muhahahaha...

      The key take away I am getting from this is to invest in excise duty evasion schemes because there will be quite a wide window when you will be able to make out like a bandit.

      The one with 150 cigarette cartons sown into the lining please -->

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought for the current extension to end after brexit it needs the EU to agree first meaning it could technically go on forever and our parliament can't do anything about it.

    Which when you think about it is a nice way to hamstring Corbyn and his plans if he gets into government as most EU regulations won't allow what he wants to do.

    At least that's how I see it. I may be wrong.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Which when you think about it is a nice way to hamstring Corbyn and his plans if he gets into government as most EU regulations won't allow what he wants to do.

      Kind of like the current government which has had entire Acts deemed illegal by European agencies.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sure, I wasn't backing either side with my comment. They are both as bad as each other.

        Interestingly though the DUP has said it will remove it's confidence and supply deal with the government if the Brexit deal goes though parliament forcing a general election. I wonder why they aren't doing it before the vote if they really cared about the ramifications of the deal.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "I wonder why they aren't doing it before the vote if they really cared about the ramifications of the deal."

          Because they expect or hope the government will lose the vote and that means the DUP still have leverage. Something about burning bridges.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            because the DUP really hold back from burning things, don't they?

            1. katrinab Silver badge

              They don't hold back when there is a Renewable Heat Incentive available.

              1. Laura Kerr

                Did someone mention burning bridges?

                I can't get rid of the thought of Darth Mayder and Arlene duetting this:

                It's on and off and on again

                Going on and then

                Taking all I got again

                Bleeding me leaving me dry

                You're hanging on for what you can

                Dragging out the pain

                Taking all I give again

                Fakin' it, making me cry

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              no that was Plaid Cymru, the DUP (formerly UVF) just shot people.

              1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

                @AC

                no that was Plaid Cymru, the DUP (formerly UVF) just shot people.

                No, that wasn't Plaid Cymru, Meibion Glyndwr (the Sons of Glyndwr) it was that did the 'come home to a real fire, buy a holiday cottage in Wales' thing. And no-one was ever injured. And traditionally they used "England's Glory' matches.

    2. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Boffin

      The customs union 'deep end' governing Northern Ireland can't be changed without EU agreement but the 'shallow end' covering Great Britain can be changed unilaterally, which is what the DUP are worried about.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't time fly ...

    ... when you're having Brexit fun!

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "compromises made on border control systems would be on financial [..] risks"

    I smell massive tax evasion tactics coming soon. Followed by tearful reports of fiscal revenue going into the toilet.

    Funny, normally the government does everything to ensure that tax revenue keeps flowing, so why isn't anyone getting the ball rolling on this ? What political thing is worse for someone's image than ensuring tax keeps coming in ?

    Because that's what it is. This is purely someone who does not want to be seen saying something definitive that nobody will like, so they keep quiet despite the guys at the Tax Bureau going blue in the face over their inability to move forward.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: "compromises made on border control systems would be on financial [..] risks"

      normally the government

      The whole divorce with Eu affair is anything but normal.

      Actually it is normal in a different way. It is the way politics have become.

      In days past governments had to cater for revenue flows and LONGER term electorate appeasing - create jobs, pork of all shapes and sizes.

      Today everything is immediate gratification (*) like dealing with a toddler. The reason for this is that EVERYONE of note has a troll mob which manipulates popular opinion for their benefit. Russians have their Internet Research Agency and has used it extensively, UK has its "Integrity Initiative", NATO as a whole had SCL group, etc. It takes less than 6 hours to whip the mob into a frenzy as UK's recent intervention into Spanish politics(**) via II has shown. The government knee-jerk reacts. Again. And again. No wonder nobody is looking at revenue. Everyone is looking to dodge the steaming turds being thrown by the Internet troll mobs orchestrated by the other side(s).

      (*)So no surprise that the commander in chief of USA behaves like a toddler

      (**)If you are wondering why Spanish suddenly became so obstinate about Gibraltar, it is not Gibraltar. It is using the equivalent of the Russian IRA to meddle into their affairs. UK could use NATO channels, official diplomatic channels or even pick up the phone and call their prime minister directly. It instead decided to use the UK counterpart of the Russian IRA and instigate an orchestrated twitter steaming turd barrage. So no wonder Spanish are suddenly 10 times more obstinate than usual.

  5. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    It's strangely refreshing to see a government department admit ahead of time that a major IT project - not even commissioned yet, let alone started - will fail. Every major IT project the government has ever tried has failed, yet normally we hear that This Time Will Be Different.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They are saying it will fail because they want more money ... isn't that the way it always works?

      Most project of this scale, planned by politicians, fail although they can be quite profitable for the politicians later when they need a company directorship.

    2. Admiral Grace Hopper

      @Ian Johnston

      "Every major IT project the government has ever tried has failed, "

      CESA was delivered on time, within budget, with all specified functionality.

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      It's strangely refreshing to see a government department admit ahead of time that a major IT project - not even commissioned yet, let alone started - will fail.

      They probably already know that it will be outsourced to Crapita.

    4. katrinab Silver badge

      They are saying they can do it in 30 months. That is very optimistic.

    5. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      @Ian Johnston

      It could be damage limitation. Basically putting it in writing now so when/if it is required and doesn't happen they can say 'told you so, don't blame us'

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is no way...

    ... that the civil service will be permitted to start spending money on building systems to support a Northern Ireland backstop scenario - when politically the DUP have essentially been given guarantees that the backstop will never come into effect.

    If they see active preparations for this scenario, they will withdraw support and the government will collapse.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There is no way...

      How can the government collapse?

      There isn't one.

      1. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: There is no way...

        It's perfectly possible for the government to collapse, even with the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Megaphone

          Re: There is no way...

          If you don't have a government, if you don't have a government, then how you gonna make a government collapse?

  7. Stork Bronze badge

    In defence of public IT projects

    Public IT projects tend to be large, complicated and with all sort of legal requirements well as interfacing with legacy systems. They have a tendency to go over budget anywhere in the World, and as the information is public (and there are politicians seeing advantage making sure it is public) we hear a lot about them; much less about the ones delivered more or less on time and budget.

    Large private IT projects interfacing legacy systems etc. (and I have been on some) also go over budget and are delivered late. I was on one that should go live in August - which year was luckily not specified. But in the private sector you can be a bit more discrete if things are not exactly to plan.

    Quote: "yes, officially our outsourcing to India was also a success"

    1. Mark 110 Silver badge

      Re: In defence of public IT projects

      Indeed - private sector projects can go completely titsup.

      I was at Old Mutual Wealth in the early stages of this one for example. Everyone involved (except for the consultancy supposed to deliver it and the Aussie software company supposed to build it) was just looking on in disbelief at the millions being spent with the wrong supplier.

      https://www.moneymarketing.co.uk/omw-cancels-contract-ifds-replatforming-project/

      IFDS claimed to have an off the shelf platform ready to go . . .

      One of OMWs directors was rumoured to have a significant stake in IFDS . . .

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    good luck getting the flexible contractors you need for those projects as you ensured no contractor will touch public sector with your ineffective ir35 changes, fools.

    1. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Don't worry

      With the right rates you can bring in contractors from all over Eur... d'Oh!

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Don't worry

        @Ken 16

        Oooh, wouldn't want them 'jumping the queue'!

        1. Ken 16 Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Don't worry

          @Pen-y-gors I'm from the EU and I've already jumped your queue

    2. eamonn_gaffey

      Oh I don't know...think of all the contract hours you could rack up on a project with a hard(ish) end date, and therfore deep(ish) pockets. "Candy from a baby" springs to mind.....

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    So this is what Brexiteers meant by "Quick and simple."

    Not quick.

    Not simple.

    Pretty much what anyone who a) Didn't have a vested interest in the chaos that would be caused or b)Wasn't a delusional f**kwit could have told them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So this is what Brexiteers meant by "Quick and simple."

      Things could have been very different had a Brexiteer been in charge.

      The current situation has all been orchestrated in order to produce a deal that is so obviously worse than the status quo that the British public will choose to remain at the forthcoming second referendum.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: So this is what Brexiteers meant by "Quick and simple."

        Oh wise and mighty Anonymous Fucking Coward, pray tell, how would you have gotten a better deal?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So this is what Brexiteers meant by "Quick and simple."

          Oh wise and mighty Anonymous Fucking Coward, pray tell, how would you have gotten a better deal?

          The Canada+++ deal is infinitely preferable to May's abomination and has been available from the EU for almost a year.

      2. Wupspups
        Mushroom

        Re: So this is what Brexiteers meant by "Quick and simple."

        "Things could have been very different had a Brexiteer been in charge."

        Yes there should have been a Brexiteer in charge. But oh yes didn't the brexiteer prime candidate for the job, BoJo Johnston get back stabbed by his fellow Brexiteer Pob Gove. BoJo then burst in to tears and flung his teddy out the pram stormed of in a huff leaving a bunch of no hopers to face down Sturmbahnfuhrer May.

        You got to be in it to win it.

        1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

          Re: So this is what Brexiteers meant by "Quick and simple."

          "Things could have been very different had a Brexiteer been in charge."

          There were brexiters in charge of the foreign office, trade and the department responsible for Brexit, plus half the cabinet, but they still failed. Face facts, it is failing because there is no plan and reality has nasty habit of smacking fantasists up the ass

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So this is what Brexiteers meant by "Quick and simple."

            There were brexiters in charge of the foreign office, trade and the department responsible for Brexit, plus half the cabinet, but they still failed. Face facts, it is failing because there is no plan and reality has nasty habit of smacking fantasists up the ass

            Nonsense. The very fact that TWO consecutive Brexit secretaries resigned within the space of six months is a clear indication that the negotiations were actually led by the REMAINER bureaucrat Olly Robbins on behalf of his traitorous boss the Maybot.

      3. hammarbtyp Silver badge

        Re: So this is what Brexiteers meant by "Quick and simple."

        Things could have been very different had a Brexiteer been in charge.

        That's like saying the reason why we couldn't fly after jumping of the cliff was because we didn't have enough people who really believed that we can defy gravity

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So this is what Brexiteers meant by "Quick and simple."

          That could be a messy experiment but given the current cabinet, I think it's definitely worth a go

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So this is what Brexiteers meant by "Quick and simple."

        "Things could have been very different had a Brexiteer been in charge."

        Ah - file this one under option (b)

      5. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: So this is what Brexiteers meant by "Quick and simple."

        Things could have been very different had a Brexiteer been in charge.

        David Davis was in charge of the Department for Exiting the European Union. He was so knowledgeable and prepared that he turned up to the very first exit negotiation with four sheets of notes while Barnier turned up with half a truckful of detailed reference material. At the time Davis resigned he had only met Barnier three time in the previous six months, for a grand total of four hours. He never once demonstrated any mastery of the situation or a comprehensive plan for addressing all the problems. He did however spend a fair chunk of time apologising to the Commons Select Committee for claiming that 57 sectoral analysis and impact assessments had been used to form the basis of his approach when in fact they still hadn't been written a year after he first mentioned them.

  10. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Of course it will fail

    It's BREXIT.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Of course it will fail

      Perhaps had the Tories bothered to elect someone other than (Snoopers Charter), Theresa May, it wouldn't have faild.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

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