The major positive about these systems is that I am not involved in developing them. The scale and complexity are immense.
The UK will go cold turkey to 'Third country' status on 1 January. About 150,000 companies will need to complete customs formalities for the first time as they only ever traded within the EU. We're talking about an estimated 215 million extra declarations per year, which could cost them an additional £7 billion.
The country needs an estimated 50,000 extra people trained in customs formalities to help businesses navigate the extra red tape. Fewer than 3000 people are thought to have completed the new training for it.
The Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) is still in development and testing will not start until November. That is the system where every business that wants to export to the EU will need to fill in declarations before the lorry even departs their warehouse for the border. It's not one declaration per lorry, it's one declaration per consignment so a single lorry may need hundreds of declarations.
I haven't had full confirmation yet but I suspect the new lorry park (or "Farage Garage") under Ashford that the people in Kent are now upset about will play a large role not in incoming freight but in outgoing freight. I think they have taken a leaf out of Rotterdam's book and will require any lorry headed for ferry or tunnel to have their documents checked there before they are allowed to proceed to the terminal. That prevents the terminals from being blocked up by chancers without declarations. There will be an estimated 10 or 12 of those sites needed across Great Britain (Northern Ireland is a wholly different matter).
For those of you with an FT subscription, this is an interesting read: UK’s border plan leaves business still searching for answers
Look at the scale, hundreds of millions of declarations a year means hundreds of thousands of declarations a day. Look at the users, a vast chunk of them will be businesses that have no experience in making customs declarations, some of them will go bankrupt if this doesn't work. Look at the visible fall out, blocked up roads in Kent and pictures of lorry drivers camping on the hard shoulder of the M20 on the front page of the Sun.
Normally systems with a vast scale and complexity are exciting things to get your teeth stuck into. Not this time as it will inevitably not deliver all that is asked from it and a bunch of low-skilled cabinet ministers will then blame HMRC and the developers for making a hash out of an impossible task.