The National Audit Office has warned in a new report that it is ‘very unlikely’ that every company that deals in UK/EU trade will be fully prepared for the end of the transition period, saying that flaws in the Government’s Brexit planning will likely lead to significant disruption.
The report says that a lot of attention has been paid to firms importing from the Single Market with the Government looking to ease administrative burdens on UK firms and that it won’t be applying full import controls from January first – even if a free trade agreement has been established before then.
This will support businesses importing goods from Europe, but less attention has been given to UK companies who primarily deal in exports into the Single Market, with the National Audit Office warning that a ‘reasonable worst-case scenario’ could see anywhere from 40% – 70% of lorries not being ready to meet EU customs requirements.
The National Audit Office said with its’ report that: “Despite the funding being committed by government, there remains significant uncertainty about whether preparations will be complete in time, and the impact if they are not.”
The British Exporters Association agrees with this assessment, noting that the Government has prioritised imports and that exporters have encountered poor communications with guidance lacking detail or definition – even misleading.