Austen Shakespeare

60 per cent of surveyed firms experience "difficulty" with new EU trade deal

New data released from a survey of 981 businesses by the British Chambers of Commerce has demonstrated the impact of the UK-EU trade deal (TCA).

The figures show rises in the proportion of firms reporting difficulties with the various changes brought about to UK-EU trade compared to when the BCC last asked the same questions in January.

The BCC has now launched its ‘TCA -One Year On’ report, exploring the experiences of businesses with the new trade relationship over the past year, and ways in which it could be improved in the short, medium and long term.

When asked how easy or difficult has it been for your business or supply chain to adapt to changes flowing from the UK-EU TCA areas across the following areas, the responses from November 2021:

  • Buying or selling goods: Very/Relatively Easy - 15 per cent, Very/Relatively Difficult - 45 per cent,Too Early to Say – 9 per cent, N/A - 32 per cent

  • Buying or selling services: Very/Relatively Easy – 14 per cent, Very/Relatively Difficult – 23 per cent,Too Early to Say – 9 per cent, N/A - 54 per cent

  • Moving people: Very/Relatively Easy - 8 per cent, Very/Relatively Difficult - 20 per cent ,Too Early to Say – per cent, N/A - 64 per cent

UK exporters were more likely than firms overall to report difficulties across these areas. For buying and selling goods, 60 per cent faced difficulties; for buying and selling services, 30 per cent; for moving people, 24 per cent; and for transferring data, 11 per cent.

Shevaun Haviland, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “These results, especially when compared to our data from January, give us a strong indication of the experiences on the ground for businesses who are dealing with the changes to the UK-EU trading relationship.

“While the data does suggest, one year into the implementation of the deal, that trade is becoming more difficult rather than smoother, we do believe there are solutions which can improve conditions for our import and export businesses.

“These data certainly do illustrate that the issues with the TCA are not ‘teething problems’ but more structural defects that, whilst fixable, if not attended to will lead to long term damage to our import and export sectors.”

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