back to article Scariest thing about Halloween? HMRC and Defra systems still a risk to post-Brexit borders

Two key programmes related to the UK border's preparedness for Brexit pose "significant risks", the National Audit Office has said. In its cross-government report today, the auditor concluded the government "has made progress with putting in place the systems, infrastructure and resources required to manage the border if the …

  1. Aladdin Sane

    TL; DR

    We're fucked.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: TL; DR

      Well at least someone at HMRC has decided upon the solution (stick with Cheif) that will at least allow for the collection of some (or most) VAT, rather than blindly hope the CDS will be ready...

    2. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: TL; DR

      Think of it as an investment. The black market will boom, HMRC will eventually catch up and we'll be able to tax all the new businesses - including back taxes.

    3. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: TL; DR


  2. Blockchain commentard

    Don't crims already use our borders for VAT fraud, drug and human/sex trafficking and probably countless other nefarious deeds. So, no change there really.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well the UK property market is awash with laundered drug money. It's so imbedded I doubt it'd ever get routed out.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        The drug money in the UK property market is almost certainly dwarfed by the amount of money stashed in the UK or our overseas tax havens by anyone who doesn't fancy paying taxes, or keeping their money in their home country.

        It's not even being laundered, it's totally legal, you can just buy a UK passport, sorry "Investor Visa" for £2M. The illegal money is just the tip of the iceberg, UK companies can make huge profits using legal methods to help their clients 'avoid' taxes. Imagine how much more they could make if they weren't sticking to the law....

  3. Danny 2

    drug and human/sex trafficking and probably countless other nefarious deeds

    Human/sex and other nefarious deeds? Are we talking sheep on mushrooms, llamas on cocaine, deer on speed, chickens on ketamine, or what?

    I'll forgive the VAT fraud if you keep it in your pocket.

  4. Chris G


    See title ^

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's almost as if the idiots 'in charge' have completely fucked up to appease a bunch of multimillionaire brexitards.

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    "successfully tested CHIEF's ability to manage up to 300 million customs declarations each year. "

    F**k me sideways.

    Govt organization runs stress tests that show system capacity exceeds forecast worst case requirements.

    Oh my giddy aunt. I may have to lie down with the shock.

    It's quite amazing how these old mainframe apps scale up, is it not?

    Now, how many others aren't quite up to the mark yet? IIRC there are about 70 systems that may be involved, but of course that might just be "Project Fear*"

    *Project Reality as it's know to those with critical thinking and research skills.

  7. Mike 137 Silver badge

    with two weeks to go

    With two weeks to go, "The UK government has stated that, in a no-deal scenario, it is committed to entering into discussions urgently with the European Commission and the Irish government"

    That should do nicely.

    Just about as effective as the corporate "User Policy" that stated "Everyone is responsible for the security of the company's data".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: with two weeks to go

      And with the DUP? How long does it take to hand roll a bespoke VAT system for Northern Ireland?

      1. Jedit Silver badge

        "How long does it take to hand roll a bespoke VAT system for Northern Ireland?"

        Apparently you don't. You just give them a ten-digit sum of money and tell them they can make abortion illegal in Northern Ireland.

        (And then they say "No" anyway, because the ten-digit number wasn't big enough.)

  8. MAF

    Government message: Get ready for Brexit

    Because we've done fsck-all on our side...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Not at all. They've told us something's going to happen and it's up to us to plan for all eventualities. What more could they have done? And when it all falls apart they can tell us that it was all our fault for not planning for whatever eventuality it was and that we all* voted for it anyway.

      * Ignoring, just as they have done for many months now, the fact that it was a bare majority of those who voted and nothing like all.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Let me translate for you, when the civil servants say "It has done so within a context where the form of the UK's departure has been uncertain, subject to shifting timetables and vigorous political debate.", what they mean is, "we've done the best we can but the bloody politicians can't make up their fucking minds and everything they do say is completely impossible".

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        "...everything they do say is completely impossible".

        Because it is?

        "We'll use technology to avoid a hard border"*

        WTF did that even mean?

        And this NI is in the EU/NI is part of the UK VAT thing?

        *Paraphrasing various numpties over the last 3 years.

  9. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    "Export Ban on Pfizer's Erectile Dysfunction Pill"

    In The Times today:-

    "The government has banned drug wholesalers from exporting erectile dysfunction medicine overseas in an attempt to combat shortages in Britain."

    What kind of shortages are they referring to?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: "Export Ban on Pfizer's Erectile Dysfunction Pill"

      The USA banned exports of oil to have a strategic petroleum reserve

      We will have a strategic stiffy reserve....

      1. quxinot

        Re: "Export Ban on Pfizer's Erectile Dysfunction Pill"

        Definitely a hard Brexit.

  10. Welsh Skeptic

    I seem to remember reading in The Register that HMRC late last year took on a new person to head up the change from CHIEF to CDC and also to read a few weeks later that the person had resigned.

    If CHIEF crashes will custom officials have to resort to paper forms to record all the new data flooding in?

    Again I read that the Netherlands had taken on 1500 new customs officials whilst Calais had taken on 700 but I have failed to see what HMRC has done.

    Perhaps part of the emergency planning of the government is to set up new parking fines for all the vehicles illegally parked in the world's biggest traffic jam or even to introduce road charges to limit the amount of traffic on the road.

    If I was Macron, I would seize the opportunity to off load some of one's immigrants by giving many of them one way tickets to the UK.

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