Yesterday the European Union’s top Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier talked about the Brexit at a public event.

Once Britain leaves the EU, it still has to negotiate on its future trading relationship with the bloc.

The EU-UK negotiation on future trade will be “difficult and demanding” says Barnier because time is “extremely short”, assuming Brexit on 31 Jan. And UK may seek to diverge from EU standards (aka level playing field).

Barnier also said that Europe “will be ready to start the negotiation as soon as the U.K. ratifies the withdrawal agreement.”

Nevertheless, he added, until all talks are completed, “the risk of a cliff edge remains, and we should all remain vigilant and prepare for that possible outcome.”

Source: CNBC

Scientisis have stated that, the world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists.

“We declare clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency,” it states. “To secure a sustainable future, we must change how we live. [This] entails major transformations in the ways our global society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems.”

There is no time to lose, the scientists say: “The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity.”

The statement was published in the scientific magazine, BioScience.

Today I am in Oslo, Norway, for Brexit work, I had several good meetings this morning.

In the afternoon I delivered a speech to Norwegian businesses at the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise.

It is always a pleasure to visit our colleagues and friends on the other side of the border, our closest Scandinavian brothers and sisters.

I like this house. There are few things more beautiful than the Customs houses. The Customs HQ in Oslo is no execption,

The World Bank has presented its Doing Business 2020 report which reviews 190 economies across 12 business regulatory areas “to assess the business environment in each economy”.

The WB Doning Business Review is an important instrument to measure progress in a number of different fields that impacts business in a country, also Customs and borders.

The Doing Business 2020 study shows that developing economies are catching up with developed economies in ease of doing business.

The sub-index for Trading Across Borders is the globally most frequently used performance measurement tool used to review Customs and Border reform and modernization, even though it only measure some – and not all – key elements of the Customs process.

In general, economies that score the highest share several features, including the widespread use of electronic systems and online platforms to comply with regulatory requirements.

The top 10 best places in the world to do business are New Zealand, having the lowest number of procedures required to start a new business (along with Georgia) as well as the shortest time to start a business at just 0.5 days. 

Singapore had the second-highest score thanks to aspects such as cross-border compliance. For example, export border compliance times in Singapore average just 10 hours compared to more than 200 hours in Cameroon and the Ivory Coast. 

Meanwhile, Denmark, South Korea, the USA, Georgia, the UK, Norway and Sweden offer the most favourable conditions for entrepreneurial activity.

Saudi Arabia is the front runner this year leap frogging from place 153 to 82 this year.

Saudi Arabia is the most improved economy in the region with a total of eight reforms. It made starting a business easier by establishing a one-stop-shop, has also adopted a new building code and launched an online platform for building permits. The kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan for long-term development embraces a variety of legal and structural reforms.

We in KGH are happy to have supported Saudi Customs in this work.

It is great to see that the countries we work with are – all improving their places on the Trading Caross Blrders index. It is an important indicator that they and we are doing the right things.

Check the study here: WB Doing Business Review 2020

Today I did a visit to my former home town of Brussels for meetings.

Good meetings all fay and a Great lunch with one of my best friends in the Customs world.

With UK government grant funding, you can gain important Customs skills ahead of Brexlt for free.

Customs and customs compliance has never been more important than now. Through the UK Customs Academy you can get the competence you need. UK Government has decided to finacially support the professionalism of the Customs business.

Just register on the #CustomsIntermediary site, sign up for a #CustomsAcademy course and follow these steps, click here: Grants for Customs training