European Affairs Committee
One year on—Trade in goods between Great Britain and the European Union

4th Report of Session 2021-22 - published 16 December 2021 - HL Paper 124



Chapter 1: Introduction


This inquiry

Chapter 2: Economic context

UK-EU trade flows

Fig. 1: UK imports of goods from EU and non-EU countries, excluding precious metals, August 2018 to August 2021

Fig. 2: UK exports of goods to EU and non-EU countries, excluding precious metals, August 2018 to August 2021

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Fig. 3: Percentage of currently trading businesses that have reported experiencing challenges, weighted by count, December 2020 to April 2021

Labour shortages

Additional economic risks: Northern Ireland and fisheries disputes

Chapter 3: The TCA and the end of the transition period: impact to date


Adjusting to the new trading landscape

The varying impact on different businesses

Rules of origin

Concerns and adjustments

Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements

General concerns

Specific concerns

Potential solutions


Customs intermediaries

Further customs facilitations


Transporting goods

Market access


Guidance and support

The SME Brexit Support Fund

EU Member State implementation of the TCA

Chapter 4: Delays to import controls

The decision to delay

Merits of the decision

Timing of the decision

The reasons for the decision


Government readiness

The consequences of the decision

Fiscal consequences

Asymmetric border

Business planning

Further delay

WTO compliance

Chapter 5: Preparedness for January and July 2022


January 2022: customs and rules of origin


Rules of origin

July 2022: SPS checks and controls

Cross-cutting issues

Government guidance and communications

Infrastructure, IT systems and staffing

EU trader readiness

Chapter 6: Longer-term questions

The UK’s long-term approach to border controls

A lighter-touch border

The 2025 UK Border Strategy

Box 1: The 2025 UK Border Strategy

Digitisation and technology

Regulatory divergence

Conformity assessment

Summary of conclusions and recommendations

Appendix 1: List of Members and declarations of interest

Appendix 2: List of witnesses

Appendix 3: Call for evidence

Evidence is published online at and available for inspection at the Parliamentary Archives (020 7219 3074).

Q in footnotes refers to a question in oral evidence.

© Parliamentary copyright 2021