Brexit 'has added costs for businesses'

Brexit | | MIC Customs Solutions |

The Public Accounts Committee says it is concerned about the impact on businesses of the EU/UK divorce.

A damning new report has said Brexit has been having a negative impact on British businesses since the transition period ended on December 31st 2020.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) document admitted that the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly affected trade, with many companies unable to send products or facing disruption due to stricter border controls.

However, it added that "it is clear that EU exit has had an impact, and that new border arrangements have added costs".

The report also said things may get worse before they get better as further checks at ports are implemented as part of the EU's new Entry and Exit system, which could pose the threat of further disruption at the borders.

According to the PAC, it has "repeatedly raised concerns about the impact of changes to trading arrangements on businesses of all sizes and we remain concerned".

Further criticism was heaped upon British prime minister Boris Johnson's plans to create the world's most effective border system in three years' time, something the PAC said it feels is overly optimistic and not underpinned by concrete plans that could really get it done.

A statement from PAC chair Dame Meg Hillier MP concluded: "One of the great promises of Brexit was freeing British businesses to give them the headroom to maximize their productivity and contribution to the economy. Yet the only detectable impact so far is increased costs, paperwork and border delays."

February has not been a good news month for Brexit so far, with a report from German statistical office Destatis already having stated that Britain fell out of Germany's top five trading partners during 2021.

It said the EU's biggest economy had turned to its neighbors within the bloc instead in a bid to avoid extra costs and red tape, causing imports of UK goods into Germany to fall 8.5 per cent.

At the same time, German exports to the UK decreased 2.6 per cent in spite of the UK delaying its checks on goods going in until 2022.