The Life And Death Reality Of Customs On WTO Rules

18 November 2018, 16:53

The reality of receiving goods on World Trade Organisation rules was one of life and death for this caller, who waited more than two weeks for medical equipment to pass through UK customs.

Steve called Ian Payne to share how vital it is for goods to be able to come into Britain quickly.

And his story is tough to listen to.

"My wife was dying a couple of years ago, and we were trying everything to try to maker her get better," he said.

"And I needed and ordered a very piece of medical equipment from America, because that was the only place I could get it.

"You could track it, and it arrived in the UK within 3 days.

"But after two weeks it was still stuck in customs, and it was only by repeatedly ringing day after day after day and begging them that they finally cleared it through.

"There was another thing I ordered from Europe and it arrived the very next day."

When Ian Payne asked what reason the customs office gave for the delay, Steve replied: "backlog".

"Imagine what it's going to be like when they have to do everyone, not just from America but from Europe?"

Steve's story comes as leading manufacturers are stepping up plans for a no-deal Brexit amid expectations that MPs will vote down Theresa May's Brexit deal in Parliament.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said that the agreement Mrs May reached with the European Union represented hard-won progress, and that a no-deal Brexit was "not acceptable".

- Brexit Deal: What's In Theresa May's Draft EU Withdrawal Agreement?