UK exporters consider ‘worst-case scenario’ plans

Many exporters to the EU are still struggling with the added cost and complexity of shipping goods to the UK’s largest export market, three months after the new post-Brexit border procedures kicked in.

An initial 41% plunge in goods going to the EU in January was described by the government as “teething problems” which it said were hard to separate out from the impact of COVID-related disruption.

The government insists that “overall freight volumes between the UK and the EU” have been back to their normal levels since the start of February, and that there is no general disruption at UK ports. However, haulage groups insist recent figures on freight volume tally the number of vehicles and ferry movements, rather than the value of the actual goods traded between the EU and UK and many more lorries than before are returning to the EU empty. An admittedly small sample of members of the Federation of Small Business found that one in four exporters had paused sales to the EU and 11% were considering abandoning exports to the bloc completely.


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