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An ugly reality: Brexit shaves £850m off beauty industry exports to EU


Research commissioned by the British Beauty Council has found that Brexit has severely impacted the UK beauty sector, with SMEs especially affected. 

The research, conducted by Oxford Economics, found that customs delays, increased costs associated with cross-border trade and a reduction in skilled EU workers entering the UK economy have shrunk the value of the UK beauty industry’s exports into the continent by £850m.

The research looked at sales trends before and after the UK’s departure from the European Union and found that, whilst sales increased in 2010 and 2016, exports have been in decline ever since the Brexit vote. 

Interestingly, export values from UK beauty firms into the global marketplace have remained steady – its EU sales which have declined. 

Head of trade policy at the BCC, William Bain, noted that: “The reality is if UK business is to thrive, then we must export more, it’s as simple as that. If we want to remain one of the world’s largest economies, then we need more firms selling goods and services internationally.

“The pandemic, supply chain disruption, Brexit, non-tariff trade barriers and global headwinds have all made this more difficult over the past few years.”

Read more: Growing crisis for UK’s exporting industry

This report, although damaging for the impact Brexit has had on trade with the EU, highlights the advantages of setting corporate sights further afield. 

By targeting a global audience rather than just within the Eurozone, UK firms have an opportunity to find new customers – potentially in territories where competition is lower, or there is huge demand for their products and services. 

To find out how export-ready your business is, take a quick and free quiz right here and get an instant assessment report on areas you need to work on to start taking advantage of the global opportunities that are out there. 

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