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Belgian customs officers have holidays cancelled in preparation for Brexit
Customs officers in Belgium will not be allowed to take leave from 26 March to 5 April as a precautionary measure in case the UK's bid to extend Brexit is rejected.
All customs and excise personnel have received a memo limiting when they can take annual leave, in preparation for the eventuality of a ‘hard Brexit’, where an increase of border controls will require more workers.
The Belgian customs administration has recruited extra customs officers to deal with the new difficulties that it will face after the UK’s potential exit from the EU without a deal.
With the new complexities comes a much heavier workload. Export declarations are estimated to rise by almost 50%.
The administration hopes limiting leave during this time will help counteract these difficulties.
British MPs voted on Thursday evening to extend Brexit beyond 29 March. The UK will seek agreement from the EU for an extension to Article 50.