Johnson Brexit trade deal ‘major headache’ – chambers

HELLO and welcome to the AM Business Briefing, as UK business representatives have called for urgent action to improve trade with Europe on the second anniversary of Brexit after huge lorry queues at Dover recently marked the milestone.

The British Chambers of Commerce said over half of UK exporters (60%) surveyed by the BCC in November 2021 reported difficulties in trading with the EU, an increase from 49% in January 2021.

It comes as Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon has said Brexit has not delivered any benefits for Scotland’s rural communities ahead of a meeting with the UK Government.

The BCC said that “it is clear urgent action is needed” and pointed to images showing traffic tailbacks.

William Bain, head of trade policy at the BCC, said: “One of the issues at Dover currently appears to be linked to the export of food products across the Channel. Like many of the problems this looks to be down to a differing interpretation of how the trade arrangements work after leaving the EU. 

“In this case we are hearing French customs require a wet signature on paperwork for exports of animal and plant products, but as much of the documentation is produced digitally this is creating hold-ups. 

“It is the latest in a string of issues with the trade deal that speaks to the wider problems of interpretation, inconsistent application and glaring gaps in its coverage.  

“No-one is expecting goods to flow as freely across the channel now as they did prior to Brexit. But the way the trade agreement is being interpreted in 27 different EU countries is a major headache for UK business – especially smaller firms without the cash reserves to set up new EU based arrangements.”


Liam Smyth, managing director of ChamberCustoms, the customs clearance agent, training and advisory service delivered through chambers of commerce across the UK said: “We’ve seen a huge demand for our services in relation to trading with the EU since the implementation of the trade deal, and we know first-hand what difficulties firms on the ground are facing. 

“If the UK Government and the EU are willing to takes action on these proposals from the chamber network it will serve to improve trading conditions and let businesses get on with growing our economy and generating prosperity.” 

John Menzies: Restaurant operators show faith in Glasgow’s future

Scotland’s largest city experienced a turbulent 2021, with Covid-19 having a now well documented impact on the evening leisure economy.

There is, however, a paradox at play in Glasgow, with the property market and desire amongst food and beverage (F&B) operators to open new premises bearing little relationship to the trading picture.

Call for ‘Elon Musk-type thinking’ on transport needs

Scotland’s 20-year blueprint for future transport investment “lacks ambition” and needs “Elon Musk-type thinking”, the Go Radio Business Show with Hunter & Haughey has heard.

High-profile entrepreneurs Sir Tom Hunter and Lord Willie Haughey said that the Scottish Government’s second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2), which includes 45 recommendations that ministers hope will make transport in Scotland more sustainable, should have been bolder and more ambitious.

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