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Indicator – Economy – Brexit devastated British trade

Indicator – Economy – Brexit devastated British trade

It’s been two years since the UK signed a post-Brexit trade agreement (TCA) with the European Union, but for small firms like Doncaster-based Apothecary-87, the difficulties of trading across the English Channel show no signs of abating. a report financial times.

Owner Sam Martin’s line of premium beard oils and hair conditioners took off quickly when he founded his company in 2012, but export growth came to an abrupt halt when the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement came into force on December 31, 2020.

Before Brexit, 75 percent of our business was exports, the rest was in the UK, but Brexit upset that number a bit because it’s expensive and difficult to get products into these countries.

He said.

In a report marking TCA’s second anniversary, the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) said Martin’s frustration was typical of small and medium-sized businesses, which are now facing structural rather than temporary problems from the deal.

Most traders think it was a mistake

According to a survey of BCC members included in the report, more than three-quarters (77 percent) of companies affected by the deal said it did not help them increase sales; While more than half of the respondents (56 percent) said that they had difficulty adjusting to the new rules for trading in goods.

Siobhan Haviland, director-general of the ACC, urged a “frank dialogue” with the government on how to improve the deal and presented ministers with a 24-point plan to ease the burden on businesses.

There are very few simple solutions to the many problems companies face in trading with Europe, but it is disappointing that almost two years after the first TCA, nothing has been done to address some of them.

He said.

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The BCC’s demands include a Swiss-style deal with Brussels to end controls on plant and animal products, a Norwegian-style agreement to reduce complexity for low-value imports, and continued unilateral recognition of EU industrial and electronic product standards.

When announcing the eleventh hour deal with Brussels on Christmas Eve 2020, the then prime minister, Boris Johnson, said TCA would “not introduce non-tariff barriers to trade”.

(Cover photo: John Keeble/Getty Images)