More than half of the UK businesses are heavily affected by the new EU import and export regulation border delays and extra costs. At the same time, a report shows that 1 in 5 companies finds trade with Northern Ireland very difficult.
The analysis made by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) reveals that the main elements most of the UK companies are struggling with relate to border issues, delays, additional customs, administration costs, and regulatory checks.
The report also shows that the issues are not only at the EU border but also when moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
As the COVID pandemic also represented a real issue for UK business, Dr. Swati Dhingra, CEP associate and associate professor in economics at LSE, said: "After months of lockdown, optimism is returning to UK businesses as the vaccine rollout and schedule for easing restrictions continue, but Brexit has changed economic conditions for UK firms."
The freight volume is increasing
However, this is where things become even more complicated. During the lockdowns, many companies were closed or decided to limit their activity. Now, after big efforts to get back to 'normal’, the vast majority of them have reopened and the trade volume has increased. Considering the actual context, with the new Brexit regulation massively affecting the industry, the reopening of many companies is causing further delays, as the freight volume has increased.
Although the impact of the Brexit effect seems to have eased up, firms still think that the economy will improve in the next couple of months.
Dr. Swati Dhingra declared: "The evidence in our report shows that Brexit played a role in the sharp drop in UK trade in 2021, with a sizeable share of firms experiencing issues in trading with the EU such as delays at the border and burdensome administrative costs. This has translated into rising costs, higher prices, and reduced competitiveness. The Government should seek to support businesses in the transition to new trading relationships and to ensure that the increase in border costs is minimized."
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