The federal government provided updated information on Friday concerning Belgium’s preparations for Brexit ahead of the looming deadline.
We are as ready as we can be if we have assessed it accurately, although there are some things we cannot predict, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, stated.
This year, a budget of €10 million was freed up. Next year, it will rise to €20 million euro. One of the initial hurdles is the recruitment of customs, Federal Food Chain Security Agency (AFSCA) and police officers.
If the UK becomes a non-member country, the job Customs has to do will be considerably greater. The recruitment of 386 customs officers is already underway: 289 are already on the job and 29 soon will be, the finance minister Alexander De Croo applauded.
Uncertainty remains as to the terms of the United Kingdom’s exit. But these officers will still be necessary even if a business agreement is reached with the European Union, the Deputy Head of Customs, Stephan Legein, assured.
As far as the police are concerned, thirty extra officers have been recruited and are deployed in western Flanders. The impact of Brexit will be felt in the port of Zeebrugge and in northern French ports. One problem it will be necessary to solve will be that of road transport, given the procedures transport operators will have to go through. A campaign has actually been led in the countries of central and eastern Europe to dissuade hauliers from turning up in Zeebrugge without the appropriate customs documents.
As for the AFSCA, the recruitment of 115 personnel is currently underway.