The majority of exporting businesses in a new poll say that the Trade and Co-operation Agreement between the UK and EU in the wake of Brexit is falling short on delivering the benefits it set out to achieve.
The survey, carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce, found that 71% of exporters feel that the new trading arrangement with the EU is not enabling them to grow or increase sales. Only one in eight said it was supporting growth.
Meanwhile, the majority of those quizzed also said that the TCA had increased costs, delays and paperwork requirements, putting UK firms at a competitive disadvantage.
Businesses cited a number of issues with the new arrangement, including a rise in costs for firms and their customers, a lack of resources to deal with new red tape for smaller firms, and an increase in EU customers put off from working with UK businesses over perceived additional trade complexities.
However, some businesses have managed to make light of the TCA, stating that trade had been able to continue without too many significant changes and that it was forcing companies to take a more global outlook with their export strategies.
Head of international trade at the Greater Manchester Chamber, Susana Cordoba, commented on the BCC’s findings that: “As from previous findings, we believe the UK Government must continue to work hard listening to what businesses are facing on the ground and offering practical solutions and support.
“Many SMEs are still struggling as they lack the knowledge and skills set to adapt to the new way of trading.”
Free Brexit support for your business
Go Exporting has been working closely with trade bodies and individual firms to help manage and mitigate the upheaval caused by the UK’s departure from the Single Market.
If your business is still struggling to adapt, a good place to start would be our free post-Brexit planning checklist which covers 10 key points including the HS Code, customs declarations and duties.