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PM Johnson’s Brexit team seeks to evade Irish Sea checks on goods – Sunday Times

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit team has been ordered to come up with plans to “get around” the Northern Ireland protocol in the Brexit withdrawal agreement, the Sunday Times newspaper reported.

Officials in Taskforce Europe, which is run by David Frost, the prime minister’s European Union negotiator, are seeking to evade Irish Sea checks on goods passing from Britain to Northern Ireland, according to the newspaper.

The officials believe that Suella Braverman, the new attorney-general, may need to give fresh legal advice to the justify the move, the newspaper said. Sources told the Sunday Times that Braverman was appointed because her predecessor Geoffrey Cox was not willing to take such action.


Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU

The UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020, but there is still a lot to talk about and months of negotiation to come. While the UK has agreed the terms of its EU departure, both sides still need to decide what their future relationship will look like.

This will need to be worked out during the transition period (which some prefer to call the implementation period), which began immediately after Brexit day and is due to end on 31 December 2020. During this 11-month period, the UK will continue to follow all of the EU’s rules and its trading relationship will remain the same.

The transition period is meant to give both sides some breathing space while a new free trade agreement is negotiated. This is needed because the UK will leave the single market and customs union at the end of the transition. A free trade agreement will allow goods to move around the EU without checks or extra charges.

If a new one cannot be agreed in time, then the UK faces the prospect of having to trade with no deal in place. That would mean tariffs (taxes) on UK goods travelling to the EU and other trade barriers.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson insists the transition period will not be extended, but the European Commission has warned that the timetable will be extremely challenging.


Middle East

Jebel Ali Customs Centres carry out 3.147mln transactions in 2019

The strategic customs management, which performs all customs operations at the Jebel Ali Port, the largest marine terminal in the Middle East and the flagship facility of DP World’s portfolio of over 65 marine terminals across six continents, showcased its latest achievements to the Director of Dubai Customs, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, during his evening visit to the centre.

“It is no surprise that the Jebel Ali Customs Centre has done remarkably in 2019, thanks to their highly trained staff and sophisticated devices and equipment,” said Musabih, adding, “They also thwarted numerous smuggling attempts as part of their role in protecting society and sustaining economic growth.” Dubai Customs is working hard to ensure the best services are delivered to the exhibitors and participants of EXPO 2020, the greatest show in the world.

Musabih added, “To achieve sustainable development, we look forward to reaching an AED2 trillion target in the Dubai external trade by 2025 following the directives and vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.” He said that 2020 will be the year of making great strides in the economic sector, in education, in infrastructure, in the health sector and in the media. Dubai is advancing in many aspects and leading the 4th Industrial Revolution within a plan and vision of becoming the world’s economic capital based on many factors and efforts, including the hosting of EXPO 2020.

The newly launched Smart Container Scanning System in Jebel Ali can scan 150 containers per hour with high accuracy in reading container numbers and digitise them for an easier linkage with the Mirsal system.




Strategy for electric car manufacturing in Egypt imperative

The Egyptian government seeks to gain more ground in the electric car industry by providing the necessary investments and keeping abreast on current global trends to refrain from pollution. The aim of using electric cars is to become independent from traditional fuels and to protect the environment from harmful emissions.

The government is also planning to equip all new cities with the infrastructure to charge electric cars, as the Ministry of Trade and Industry discussed the strategy of producing electric cars and their chargers in Egypt. The Ministry will soon be presenting these strategies to the Council of Ministers.

Major General Hussein Mustafa, an expert in car manufacturing and the former executive director of the Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said that the state’s orientation to clean energy, whether electric or compressed natural gas, comes in conjunction with the state’s direction to develop a strategy for electric cars and executing it legislatively.

The hope is that the terms within the strategy are actually encouraging to investors so to keep up with the rest of the world as it tries to become reliant on electric cars by 2040. This is the ideal goal for the global auto industry, regardless of its late presence in the Egyptian market.

There are many incentives that the state must provide to advance passenger car manufacturing, including the government creating its own feeder industries, obtaining customs exemption, and completely abolishing taxes on them, which will provide opportunities for the state to start manufacturing.