UK exporters: Brexit problems worsen

RED tape wrangles continue to create significant problems for many UK businesses two years after the UK quit the European Union and a year after the move was implemented.

It comes as the latest Brexit milestone was recently marked by huge lorry queues at Dover.

The British Chambers of Commerce said 60 per cent of UK exporters it surveyed in November 2021 reported difficulties in trading with the EU, an increase from 49% in January 2021.

The BCC added that “it is clear urgent action is needed”.


It said export health certificates are too costly for food exporters and “a supplementary deal on this which either eliminates or greatly reduces the complexity of exporting food for SMEs” is needed.

Another issue it raised is that some companies are being asked to register in multiple EU states for VAT to sell online to customers there, which it says could also be remedied by a supplementary deal, similar to Norway’s with the EU, that exempts the smallest firms from the requirement to have a fiscal representative and incur duplicate costs.

William Bain, of the BCC, said freeing up the flow of goods and services into the EU is essential, adding: “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.

“Yet it doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible for the UK Government and EU to take a pragmatic approach and work together to reach new understandings on a consistent interpretation of the rules and to build on them further.”

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