The Manx government has taken a major step ahead of Brexit – with the signing of an amended Customs agreement with the UK.

Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan said the signing was a milestone in preventing disruption for residents and businesses and protecting our trade with the UK.

The signing took place today (Monday) in London with the UK’s Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride MP.

We are currently subject to EU law in relation to customs. But that status will fall away when the UK leaves the EU on March 29 next year.

Mr Cannan MHK said: ’Securing this arrangement has been a priority for the island.

’Today’s signing represents a milestone in our work to prevent disruption for Isle of Man residents and businesses as a result of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, whilst also protecting our vital trading relationship with the UK.

’This arrangement is the culmination of considerable work that has taken place over some time.’

An important difference in the new arrangement is that the Channel Islands will become part of the customs union arrangements, creating a United Kingdom and Crown Dependencies Customs Union.

This means that goods will be able to move freely between the Isle of Man, UK and the Channel Islands for customs purposes only.

However, the Channel Islands will not be entering into arrangements for the sharing of customs duties, VAT and excise duties.