Half of small business exporters struggling with new rules after Brexit
Half of the main small business exporters who send goods to the EU are experiencing trade difficulties after Brexit.
For manufacturers, the problems are just as bad: According to a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce, it will be more difficult for 51 percent to export life to Europe after Brexit.
Overall, almost a third of the companies surveyed (30 percent) said that trading was more difficult in January after the UK left the EU.
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The main issues cited by exporters in the context of Brexit were increased administration, costs, delays and confusion about which rules to follow.
In particular, the BCC wants companies to be able to write off their spending on additional administrative and customs costs against their tax burden and that the government take action against the EU to carry out additional health checks on food and animal exports from April and full customs controls from July.
The BCC also wants the EU and the UK government to work together to minimize unhelpful burdens, including issues related to rules of origin and VAT.
The study is the first major survey on corporate coping since the Brexit agreement entered into force.
The BCC surveyed 1,000 companies, mostly small businesses, with nearly half (47 percent) exporting goods or services to the EU.
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Adam Marshall, General Manager of the BCC, said: “Trading companies – and the UK’s chances of a strong economic recovery – are being hit hard by changes at the border.
“The late UK-EU trade deal agreement left businesses in the dark until the last minute. It is not surprising, then, that so many local companies are now having practical difficulties when the new arrangements come into effect.
“For some companies, these concerns are existential and go far beyond mere start-up difficulties. It should not be the case that companies simply have to stop selling their goods and services to the EU. Ministers must do everything possible to address the problems that are under the control of the UK and extend their reach with EU counterparts to resolve the gnarled problems that are hindering trade in both directions. “
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