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  • Ryan Wittler

So Far, Brexit Has Mostly Led to Higher Costs and Border Delays for U.K. Businesses

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A new report from the British Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee has found that the U.K.’s exit from the European Union in January 2020 (known informally as “Brexit”) has mostly led to higher costs and more border delays for businesses.

Some highlights:

According to the committee, the new post-Brexit border controls on trade from the U.K. into the E.U. “have created additional costs for businesses and affected international trade flows,” and while it’s not clear to what extent the declines in trade are attributed to the new controls or COVID, it’s “clear that [U.K.] businesses face additional administration and cost when trading with the [E.U.]”

Since the new border controls have yet to be fully implemented, the report says their total impact isn’t known and recommends government action to “identify and quantify” the additional costs and administrative burden to businesses. It also recommends investigating ways to reduce them.

According to committee chair Meg Hillier, while Brexit promised to give businesses the chance to truly maximize their trade, “the only detectable impact so far is increased costs, paperwork and border delays.”

Full controls:

The committee says the government will introduce all of the new import controls in several phases from January to November 2022 (they’ve been delayed three times), though it has more work to do to ensure businesses in the E.U. are prepared for them.

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