Category: Brexit

Brexit deal not delivering for businesses

By Wendy McNulty

20 Jan 2023

Over half of UK companies currently face difficulties in adapting to the new rules for trading goods with the EU, according to a British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) survey.

The survey also found that 77% of respondents who exported were unable to identify any growth as a result of the rule changes.

The post-Brexit trade deal, the trade and co-operation agreement (TCA), sees British and EU businesses facing no tariffs when sending goods in either direction.

However, there is extensive paperwork and red tape, alongside difficulties in getting visas approved for staff (44%).

The BCC has sent the government a report setting out the main issue the TCA is causing with solutions to many of the problems.

These include reaching agreement on the Northern Ireland Protocol and supplementary deals to reduce complexity for food exporters and exempt smaller firms from VAT requirements.

Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

‘Businesses want political leaders on both sides to move on from the debates of the past and find ways to trade more freely.

‘This means an honest dialogue about how we can improve our trading relationship with the EU. With a recession looming we must remove the shackles holding back our exporters so they can play their part in the UK’s economic recovery.

‘If we don’t do this now then the long-term competitiveness of the UK could be seriously damaged. It is no coincidence that during the first 15 months of the TCA we stopped selling 42% of all the different products that we used to.

‘Businesses feel they are banging their heads against a brick wall as nothing has been done to help them, almost two years after the TCA was first agreed. The longer the current problems go unchecked, the more EU traders go elsewhere, and the more damage is done.’

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