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Further call for action

Half of UK exporters struggling with trade rules

Adam Marshall

Adam Marshall: ‘concerns go beyond teething problems’ (pic: Terry Murden)

A new survey has confirmed earlier reports that at least half of exporters are facing difficulties adapting to changes in the trade of goods following the ending of EU rules.

Nearly half (49%) of 1,000 respondents which exported goods or services reported  difficulties, rising to 51% for manufacturers.  

The findings by the British Chambers of Commerce echo the results of the latest Fraser of Allander Institute poll, published on Wednesday which found that 57% of those selling or importing from the bloc have seen a negative impact on their business with only 1% reporting an improvement.

When asked by the BCC about the specific difficulties businesses were facing, commonly cited concerns included increased administration, costs, delays, and confusion about what rules to follow. 

BCC Director General Adam Marshall said:   “Trading businesses – and the UK’s chances at a strong economic recovery – are being hit hard by changes at the border.  

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“The late agreement of a UK-EU trade deal left businesses in the dark on the detail right until the last minute, so it’s unsurprising to see that so many businesses are now experiencing practical difficulties on the ground as the new arrangements go live.  

“For some firms these concerns are existential, and go well beyond mere ‘teething problems’. 

“It should not be the case that companies simply have to give up on selling their goods and services into the EU. 

“Ministers must do everything they can to fix the problems that are within the UK’s own control, and increase their outreach to EU counterparts to solve the knotty issues that are stifling trade in both directions.”

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