Post Brexit Deal Holding Back Exporters

Post-Brexit trade deal holding back exporters, business group says. In a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce, only one in eight firms said the trade deal was helping them.

A leading business group has urged the Government to help exporting firms after research suggested most believed the EU trade deal was not helping them grow or increase sales.

The online blog, Business Live is reporting that a survey of 1,000 businesses by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) found that only one in eight said the trade deal was helping them. A majority of respondents said it has pushed up costs, increased paperwork and delays, and put the UK at a competitive disadvantage.

Issues included rising costs, not having the time and money to deal with the bureaucracy it had introduced and EU customers being put off from considering UK goods and services.

Post Brexit Deal Holding Back Exporters

William Bain, head of trade policy at the BCC, said: “This is the latest BCC research to clearly show there are issues with the EU trade deal that need to be improved. “Nearly all of the businesses in this research have fewer than 250 employees and these smaller firms are feeling most of the pain of the new burdens in the TCA. Many of these companies have neither the time, staff or money to deal with the additional paperwork and rising costs involved with EU trade, nor can they afford to set up a new base in Europe or pay for intermediaries to represent them.”

The survey of 1,154 business received 59 positive comments on the trade deal, saying it had provided stability, allowed some companies to continue to trade without significant change and encouarged firms to look at other global markets. But it also received 320 negative comments, including complaints about rising costs and bureaucracy and saying that it had put off EU customers from considering UK goods and services due to the perceived costs and complexities.

The BCC made a number of suggestions for improvements, including moves to reduce the complexity of exporting food, and tackling limitations on business travel and work activities in the EU.

Liberal Democrat Business Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said: “Businesses are saying loud and clear that Boris Johnson’s trade deal with the EU is simply not good enough, but the Government isn’t even listening. “Claims from the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg about Brexit opportunities ring hollow for businesses being drowned in paperwork and delays at our borders.”

A Government spokesperson said: “The Trade and Cooperation Agreement is the world’s biggest zero-tariff, zero-quota free trade deal. It allows businesses in Britain to trade freely with Europe while also being able to seize new trading opportunities with countries around the world.

“We’ve always been clear that being outside the single market and the customs union would mean changes and that businesses would need to adapt to new processes. That is why we are ensuring that businesses get the support they need, including through the free-to-use Export Support Service.

“Goods exports to EU nations were 4% higher last year compared with 2020. However, given the Covid-19 pandemic, global recession and supply chain disruption, it is still too early to draw any firm conclusions on the long-term impacts of our new trading relationship with the EU.”

You might also like