The Davis Downside Dossier

Yorkshire Bylines

“...there will be no downside to Brexit at all, and considerable upsides”
David Davis

In October 2016, David Davis, the then Brexit secretary, told the House of Commons that “there will be no downside to Brexit at all, and considerable upsides”.

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Upsides 25 : 1113 Downsides

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The downsides

June 2023Bootstrap

Holidays. The Telegraph reports that cheap summer holidays are at risk from a shortfall in aircraft maintenance staff. Over a quarter of engineers are expected to retire over the next decade, according to the recruitment consultancy AeroProfessional. MD Sam Sprules said: “The shortfall in aircraft engineers is already impacting output and it’s only going to get worse for the foreseeable future.” Brexit means that aircraft engineer licences issued by the UK authorities are no longer valid in the EU and UK aviation businesses have very restricted access to engineers from Europe.


Fishing. The government has added share fishermen, trawler skippers and deckhands on large fishing vessels to the UK’s shortage occupation list. The FT claim this is a tacit recognition that Brexit has not generated the boom in the sector that had been promised by Boris Johnson and other Leave campaigners. Mike Cohen, CEO of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations said, “Promises were made that did not materialise.”


Education. The UK government is offering foreign teachers £10,000 to work in English schools in an overseas recruitment drive to fill classroom vacancies. In an effort to boost numbers, ministers have started an overseas recruitment initiative under which the rules have changed to more easily recognise maths, science and language-teaching qualifications from Ghana, India, Singapore, Jamaica, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe.


Solar panels. Chris Case, CTO of Oxford PV, a spin-off company from Oxford University with patented high-efficiency solar panel technology has told the FT that between continental Europe, the US and the UK, the latter was the “least attractive” location for the factory to manufacture the cells because of a lack of incentives. The company already has a pilot plant near Berlin. The US and EU have announced broad-ranging proposals to boost renewable energy technology in an effort to catch up with China. Case added, “the most attractive markets for listing are things like the Nasdaq and markets in Hong Kong but not so much the UK.”


Trade. An escalating battle over subsidies between the US and China is set to cause serious damage to the UK economy, according to a leaked internal government analysis seen by The Times. The analysis finds that the UK’s economy will suffer more than those of the US, EU and China in the event of a full-blown subsidies war. British manufacturers have calculated that the government would have to spend more than £100 billion to match American or European subsidies on items like semiconductor chips.


Chips. The increased cost of potatoes may see some fish and chip shops close, according to Andrew Crook, president of the National Federation of Fish Friers. Mark Taylor, the chair of the industry group GB Potatoes, said in 2022 growers had faced a “perfect storm” from Brexit, Covid and soaring energy costs. Although the UK is more than 90% self-sufficient in potatoes, the price of European processing potatoes, which are used to make many of the French fries eaten in the UK, is up 66% on a year ago at £365 a metric tonne, according to Mintec, the commodities data group.


Farming. A survey by agri-tech business Hectare, shows a majority of UK farmers – 67% – said they have no confidence about the future of food production in Britain. Their biggest concerns over the next 12 months, for livestock farmers (26%) and arable farmers (33%) is the the lack of clarity around new government support schemes to replace the ending of the EU’s BPS scheme. Andrew Huxham, co-founder of Hectare, said, “It’s been an uncertain few years for everyone involved. Undoubtedly, many are feeling vulnerable post Brexit now the Basic Payment Scheme is being phased out.”

May 2023Bootstrap

Fire safety. The leader of the UK Fire Industry Association has described the introduction of the post-Brexit UKCA quality mark as a farce that “makes absolutely zero sense”. Ian Moore, said replacing the EU’s CE mark with the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark “makes zero difference to increasing the quality of the products”. According to The Times, he also added, “It doesn’t add any value whatsoever; it’s just bureaucracy and will cost the fire industry millions of pounds.”


Farming. The NFU has written to the Farming Minister raising concerns about the availability of plant protection products from Europe after Brexit and calling for the system of parallel trade permits to be retained. The system, which allows PP products to be imported provided the UK regulator determines them to be identical in composition to a reference product already authorised in the UK, comes to an end on 30 June 2023. The NFU expect, and are “beginning to see” a loss of availability and choice of PPPs on the market with the risk of price increases.


Chemicals. The UK chemicals sector has warned that attempts to create an affordable post-Brexit regulatory regime for the industry were floundering and risked causing “irreparable damage” to British businesses according to a report in the FT. The UK quit the EU’s “Reach” chemical management system but has repeatedly delayed the introduction of its own arrangements after a government impact assessment discovered it would cost the industry £2bn to duplicate the safety data already held in Brussels.


BT. A lucrative €458 million EU contract with BT to handle sensitive communications between the member states’ governments has been cancelled amid a dispute over potential access to EU secrets following Brexit. The EU commission confirmed that the 8-year contract with a Belgian-based subsidiary of BT has been totally cancelled. Rival operators Telefonica SA and Deutsche Telekom AG had complained about the way the contract had been awarded to a firm from outside the 27-nation bloc.


University funding. The Vice-Chancellors of the universities of Swansea, Bangor and Cardiff, and the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth, have raised concerns about reduced funding following the UK’s exit from the EU. The leaders warn of ‘massive job losses and a brain drain of academic talent’ because the UK Government has reneged on its promise to fully replace EU funding. A committee of Welsh MPs heard that the local economy in university towns and cities across Wales will also suffer as a result of broken UK Government promises and because EU money is now coming to an end.


Lincolnshire farming. A report, prepared for Lincolnshire CC’s Environment and Economy Committee has said the county’s agriculture sector faces significant labour shortages due to Brexit and the pandemic. The Scrutiny Panel report warns: “If the labour shortage is not resolved swiftly, shortages threaten to shrink the sector permanently with a chain reaction of wage rises and price increases reducing competitiveness, leading to food production being exported abroad and increased imports.”


Retail. Marks & Spencer reports that an increase in costs as a result of Brexit has created challenges for its Irish food business forcing it to source more products locally. In the retailer’s annual results, M&S said that it would focus on improving profitability in this division in Ireland following “EU border related headwinds”. In 2021, the retailer revealed that it had to cut 800 lines from its stores in Ireland, including items such as free-range chicken and orchids.


Food costs. Researchers at the London School of Economics (LSE) claim British households have paid £7bn since Brexit to cover the extra cost of trade barriers on food imports from the EU. A report estimates the impact of leaving the bloc on UK food prices pushed up bills by an average £250.The cost of food in the UK had rocketed by 25% since 2019, the researchers calculated, but if the post-Brexit trade restrictions were not in place then this increase would be only 17% – nearly a third lower, amounting to £6.95bn.


Sausages. East Yorkshire based sausage maker Cranswick were forced to recruit 400 butchers from the Philippines, after it struggled to find skilled workers. The company said it had faced a third year of “unprecedented disruption.” CEO Adam Couch said the move came at a significant cost but that it had safeguarded service levels when some in the sector had to cut back production due to the ongoing labour shortages.


Cars. The head of supply chain management at Aston Martin Lagonda, Martin Corner, has blamed Brexit for the current crisis in UK car manufacturing. Mr Comer, formerly with Volvo said, “The OEM I worked for at the time didn’t want to appear to speak out at a political choice for the British public… for me even before the referendum it was obvious this could pose an existential threat to the car industry in the UK due to the many versions of Brexit possible… The car industry should have made public clearly the facts and the risk to thousands of jobs.”


Financial services. A draft memorandum of understanding (MoU) on financial services between the UK and EU was published last week. Michael Sholem, a partner at asset fund manager Macfarlane said it would be helpful for the industry to have a “formalised process” to air concerns and disputes but warned the joint regulatory forum will probably only meet on a “semi-annual basis” adding “This structure is clearly no substitute for the level of co-operation and integration that occurred when the UK was part of the EU.”


Gardeners. The Horticultural Trades Association has warned that plans to introduce new post-Brexit border checks will hit the gardening industry, pushing up costs and reducing choice for customers. HTA chair James Barnes said the government’s draft border plan would heap unwanted costs on to plant nurseries, most of which were small businesses. The HTA estimated that the new controls will add £42mn a year in red tape costs for businesses, for no economic gain.


Germany. Germany recorded its highest level of foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, with a surge in UK companies setting up operations to keep a post-Brexit presence in the EU. FDI into Germany totalled €25.3bn last year, up 261% since 2021, according to official figures from Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI). A total of 170 FDI projects originated in the UK, up 21% on 2021. Robert Hermann, chief executive of GTAI, said, “For British companies, it’s particularly important to have a foothold in the EU after Brexit.”


The City. Sir Nigel Wilson, the head of Legal & General, one of the UK’s largest investment companies says that Britain largely missed out on the technology boom of the early 2000s and is now at risk of being left behind once again. London is losing out to rival financial centres as a result of over-regulation and misguided political interventions. Just 6% of pension funds’ total assets were invested in UK stocks, done from 53% in 1997. As a result, British pension funds and insurance companies now own just 4pc of the London stock market, down from 39pc in 2000.


Fruit. According to data released by HMRC, exports of fruit from the UK to the EU, including traditional English apples and pears, have more than halved since Brexit. The decline has been put down to post-Brexit trade barriers, including mandatory health certificates on fresh and chilled food and customs paperwork. In the year to 31 March 2021, the UK sold £248.5m worth of fruit to the EU. But sales figures dropped to £119m the next year, and have since remained at that level.


Goods labelling. Supermarkets face having to label food as “not for EU” in four different ways under Brexit plans being discussed by the Government, reports The Telegraph. Retailers are expecting to have to place labels denoting food cannot be sent to the EU on not only the individual packs of food, but also on cases carrying products and on supermarket shelves. One senior supermarket boss described it as “gold plating” the so-called Windsor framework.


Rice Milling. There are fears that the £1bn UK rice milling industry, which employs thousands of workers, is at risk of being wiped out by a part of the post-Brexit trade deal being discussed with India, ministers have been warned. The deal to remove tariffs on imports of processed rice, proposed by Boris Johnson on a visit to Delhi in 2022, would also open the UK market to products that exceed safe pesticide limits.


Financial services. Thorsten Beck, director of the Florence School of Banking and Finance, has told the European Parliament that the proposed UK-EU memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a regulatory forum will contain few changes and won’t reopen the door for London’s financial centre to the bloc. It is feared that the UK financial sector will be largely cut off from the EU market for years, according to Reuters.


Cheese. The CEO of the Cold Chain Federation has warned that UK imports controls due to come into force in October this year will make it much harder to bring some goods into the UK. Shane Brennan told The Telegraph: “We’re going to see EU-based cheese and meat suppliers finding on November 1 that they can’t fulfil their Christmas orders. It’s going to come as a massive shock to the system, and there will be paralysis as a result while everything has to reset.”


Online trading. The EU have proposed reforms to its customs service which will impact online at trading platforms like Amazon and Alibaba. The move will ensure goods sold online comply with all customs obligations and consumers will no longer face hidden charges or unexpected paperwork when the parcel arrives. The current exemption under which goods valued at less than €150 are excused customs duty, seen as heavily exploited by fraudsters, will be abolished.


Semi-conductors. The UK government’s £1bn package of support for the semiconductor industry has been described as “insignificant” compared to the funding announced by the US and the EU, which is closer to £40bn. The chair of the parliamentary business select committee, Darren Jones, welcomed the strategy but added, “the initial £250m is a very small amount of subsidy compared to other countries”.


Libraries. Hull City Council’s Library department say money provided from the government’s Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) is “significantly less than previous EU funding” obtained for their business and intellectual property service which will see a “considerable reduction in capacity.” The service is part of the British Library’s national network of Business & IP Centres, helping to transform ideas into successful businesses.


Financial services: Barclays is planning to hire 200 new workers in Paris in the latest blow to the City of London in the wake of Brexit, The Telegraph reports. It currently employs around 300 people in the French capital, almost as many as its Dublin office. CEO Francesco Ceccato told Bloomberg: “The need to keep hiring traders on the continent is obvious. Europe needs to develop its capital markets to reduce reliance on banks, so we have an opportunity to grow.” Barclays plan to move into a larger Paris office near the Arc de Triomphe next year.


Financial services: In March, Paris extended its lead over London as Europe’s largest stock market as companies continued to flee Britain. The London market is $250bn (£204bn) smaller than its French rival, according to data from Bloomberg and reported by The Telegraph, as fears grow that the London Stock Exchange (LSE) is losing its allure. Raoul Salomon, chief executive of Barclays France, told Bloomberg: “People do not see Paris as a short-term gig anymore. They bring their kids and buy country houses.”


Euro Swaps: According to the FT, the US has cornered the majority of trades in the $100 trillion euro swap market as the stand off between London and Brussels over financial services pushed traders to send more of their deals to New York. The US’s market share hit 51%, EU venues held 35% of the market, their lowest since December 2020. The UK market slumped to just 14%. Before Brexit, Britain accounted for more than 70% of the market.


Financial services: The Telegraph report that investment bankers Goldman Sachs moved to a new, 9,000-square metre Paris headquarters in 2022, with its headcount more than doubling in the country in recent years. The Wall Street trader first opened a Paris office in 2020 as a result of Brexit and moved up to $60bn (£46bn) worth of assets out of the UK and into Germany.


Manufacturing: Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has joined Vauxhall maker Stellantis in criticising the current requirements of the Brexit Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) negotiated by Boris Johnson and the EU. Both firms are calling for a new timeline to delay the introduction of the so-called “rules of origin” covering where parts must be sourced from, which they say will make their vehicles uncompetitive. JLR employs around 30,000 people in the UK.


Food price inflation: Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has confirmed that “Not for EU” labelling will apply to food products across the UK and will be phased in gradually from this autumn as part of the Windsor Framework deal to reduce checks on British products entering Northern Ireland. The Food and Drink Federation warned that the labelling requirement, as well as new regulations on recycling packaging, would push up the price of the weekly shop just as inflation is set to fall.


Trade: A new report by the European Central Bank suggests Brexit has caused a “significant decline” in EU-UK trade in both directions while aggravating existing labour shortages in the British economy. It said the decline ranged from 10% to 25% depending on the methodology. The reports says there has been a substantial reduction in the number of products exported from the UK to the EU, but the ECB adds, “The same is not found for exports of products from the EU to the United Kingdom.”


Farming: A farm in East Lancashire has applied to turn a field into a secure dog walking paddock to combat a post-Brexit drop in income. Supporting documents with the application from the 82-year old Bradley Farming Partnership says: “The farm has, like many, relied upon Basic Payment Scheme for extra farm income, which has since Brexit started to reduce. By 2024 this income stream will have halved and by 2028 will have finished in its entirety.”


Vauxhall cars: Stellantis, which owns Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen and Fiat, has called on the government to renegotiate part of the Brexit deal or risk losing parts of its EV car industry. The company says it can no longer meet Brexit trade rules on where parts are sourced. “If the cost of electric vehicle manufacturing in the UK becomes uncompetitive and unsustainable, operations will close,” Stellantis told MPs in a written submission.


Regulations: In an editorial, The Telegraph says UK Regulators have been accused by tech bosses of excessive rule-making, driving businesses abroad. The pro-Brexit newspaper claims that “it has come to something when the sector’s bosses prefer the regulatory approach of Brussels to that of post-Brexit Britain”.


Education: The head of a primary school in Hackney which is earmarked for closure next summer claims the 150-year old establishment is closing because it has too few pupils. Jo Riley, head of the Randal Crener school warned that some families have fled London because they no longer feel “wanted or needed” since Brexit. She added that some of the most marginalised families in the area are feeling “pushed out, unwanted and unheard.”


Labour shortages: According to a recent survey by Finbri, a financial services company, 83% of UK business owners are either concerned or strongly concerned about the impact of labour shortages on their companies. Stephen Clark, Bridging Loan Broker at Finbri, said labour shortages have become an ongoing conversation among businesses since Brexit, and the issue is only likely to worsen in the short term, offering little to contribute to the UK economy’s rebound.


Horticulture: A horticultural business in Malton, North Yorkshire has had to pull out of the Chelsea Flower Show due to what it describes as “bureaucracy gone mad.” The company has been unable to import species from the EU due to post-Brexit rule changes in the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) regulations. Wack’s Wicked Plants now require import licences and are struggling to obtain plants.


Food price inflation: A report by Sky News says soaring food and non-alcoholic drink prices are driving record-high UK inflation. The UK government denies this is related to Brexit but the Food and Drink Federation say it has “made the situation worse for UK manufacturers.” NFU president Minetter Batters says that while the UK was still in the EU, it was the “preferred country to work in” for seasonal labour, but now we’re out and freedom of movement has ended, the lack of EU workers has been a ‘huge, huge issue’.”


Labour shortages: Industry leaders have hit back at Home Secretary Suella Braverman, accusing her of being disconnected from the realities facing sectors suffering labour shortages. Ms Braverman claimed that there is “no good reason” why more British people can’t be trained to take up jobs as butchers and fruit pickers. Nick Allen, CEO at the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA), said it would take “decades” for the meat industry to shift to no longer be reliant on staff recruited from abroad.


Athletics: The English triathlete Lucy Charles-Barclay has been forced to give up hopes of competing at IRONMAN 70.3 in Kraichgau Germany next week, after she was unable to obtain a visa. Posting on Instagram, she revealed that she had used 88 of the 90 days allowed in the Schegen area and told her followers, “So for now I will be training hard at home and my next race will most likely be UK based so watch this space.”


Irish imports: A funding dispute between the UK and Scottish government’s has stalled work on a new Border Control Post planned for Cairnryan in Galloway to check goods coming from the Republic of Ireland and wider EU via Northern Ireland. The BCP is politically sensitive because there is still a question of how officials at Cairnryan will be able to discriminate between goods from Northern Ireland which have been promised ‘unfettered access’ and the Republic of Ireland which may require inspection.


Energy: Energy UK, an industry body which represents power generators and traders, said UK households have paid the price for “inefficient trading” arrangements since 2021, with electricity no longer exchanged through the EU market coupling regime. Consumers paid as much as £1.1bn more in 2022 after losing access to EU internal markets. Higher carbon prices added £700mn while bills were also boosted by as much as £370m due to post-Brexit trading arrangements, which mean inter-connector power is bought and sold less efficiently.


Hospitality: Sir Rocco Forte, the wealthy hotelier, Brexiteer, Tory donor and supporter of both Johnson and Truss has become ‘disillusioned’ by the aftermath of Brexit and may decide to move to Italy. Sir Rocco is said to be “depressed” by the state of the UK “and the direction in which it’s going”. He doesn’t know how he’ll vote at the next election. “We’re in a throwback to the 1970s, which I remember very well,” he laments in an interview with The Times.


Food resilience: The NFU reported that in 2023 domestic salad production hit a 40-year low while egg production fell to its weakest level since 2013. UK agriculture is said to be ‘navigating the fallout from Brexit and the pandemic’ with many farmers throwing in the towel amid soaring costs and labour shortages. It comes as the government has called a ‘food summit’ to be held in Downing Street this week.


Investment: According to The Times, figures from the Investment Association show UK wealth management firms control more than £10 trillion in assets but just £1.6 trillion is invested in this country amd only £40 bn in infrastructure. The proportion of share portfolios devoted to British firms has fallen from 37% to 23% in just a decade. The article says “Leaving the EU was always going to hit the economy” but fears are growing that the government post-Brexit is not doing enough to attract new investors.


Foreign investment: According to figures from the accountants Ernst & Young, France has taken first place in the league of foreign direct investment in European countries, pipping the UK for the second year running. France received 1,259 projects, breaking the European record for the second time. Experts have partially blamed post-Brexit uncertainty for Britain seeing just 929 new projects.


Construction: Siteright Construction Supplies, a manufacturer in Dorset, has told the British Chambers of Commerce that importing parts from the European Union to fix broken machines has become a costly and “time-consuming nightmare.” In a survey of more than 1,168 businesses, the BCC found 77% said Brexit has not helped them increase sales or grow their businesses. More than half said they were finding it difficult to adapt to the new rules for trading goods.


Jewellery: Little Star, a UK company that makes jewellery for children saw business ‘take off’ in Holland before Brexit and had plans to expand into France and Germany. But since Brexit, only two of its 30+ Dutch customers are prepared to handle the costs and paperwork to obtain stock from the company. Products that took two days to ship are now taking three weeks, while import duties and sales taxes have made it much harder to compete with European jewellers, according to Rob Walker, who co-founded the business with his wife in 2017.


Welsh funding: According to the LSE Blog, parts of the UK which benefited from the EU’s Regional and Social Funds have sustained heavy financial and enabling losses. Wales, it claims was expecting to received £1.4 billion in the 2020-25 EU Budget while the latest “round” of allocation from the UK’s “Shared Prosperity Fund” brings the total post-Brexit Development funding for Wales up to £840 million – £560 million less. A further loss of £243 million because of the post-Brexit reduction in farm funding is also forecast.


Rabbis: Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, has said that Brexit was primarily behind the organisation’s planned relocation of its European headquarters to Munich, Germany. Goldschmidt told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency last week that “Germany is one of the only countries in Europe where the Jewish community is growing and the political climate is conducive to build Jewish life there,” confirming that Brexit was a leading factor in the move.


Dyson: The vacuum cleaner entrepreneur Sir James Dyson has launched a scathing attack on the prime minister’s pledge to make the UK a “science and technology superpower” after Brexit. The brexit supporting billionaire has warned that government policies are deterring multibillion-pound companies like Dyson from investing in the UK in favour of countries that “encourage growth and innovation rather than deter them”. He also says that Sunak has refused to meet him and other.


REUL bill: The Employment Lawyers Association has warned that the REUL bill, by “wiping the slate clean” of the precedents on which previous court judgments were founded, means that businesses and employers will no longer be able to predict their obligations under the law with certainty. Paul McFarlane, chair of the ELA said removing EU law principles from UK law has a potential knock-on impact on how primary acts of parliament may be interpreted in the future.


Southampton: Southampton City Council have said the gridlocked traffic which impacted drivers and caused “mass disruption” as holidaymakers travelled to the city’s cruise ship terminals was due to Border Force carrying out impromptu security checks. A spokesperson said: “Border Force are carrying out impromptu security checks on all passengers which is slowing everything down and causing delays and congestion on the roads.”


Trade. George Eustice, a former environment secretary, under Boris Johnson, has accused ministers and officials of giving “too much away in trade talks without getting much in return.” Last year he described Britain’s free trade deal with Australia – largely negotiated by Ms Truss – as a failure. Eustice claimed there was “a wider problem within the government and within the Conservative Party in general” over liberalising trade.


Manufacturing. Profits at an Ulster blind manufacturer plunged “due to Brexit hit and pandemic boost wearing off” according to the Belfast Telegraph. Fourds Ltd, trading as Bloc Blinds, say Brexit has presented “challenges” and a “more significant impact to Bloc with uncertainty to business trading” during the financial year ending April 2022. Fourds’ turnover fell 87% and profits by 99%.


Travel. Passengers who had a flight to Florence with Spanish airline Vueling cancelled at the last minute have had difficulty obtaining compensation. Coby Benson, an airline compensation expert, told The Guardian that Vueling should have provided a full refund within seven days of the cancellation, adding, “Prior to Brexit, we were able to issue court proceedings against it with relative ease using the European small claims procedure. However, that is no longer an option.”


Potatoes. Richard Orr, who runs William Orr and Son Potato Growers in Co. Down, grows, packs and distributes potatoes across Northern Ireland but says, “Brexit in essence, has meant, we are now limited to sourcing all seeds from within Northern Ireland.” The additional paperwork required to import ware potatoes from GB using the Trader Support Service means the company has had to employ an extra member of staff “purely to deal with the extra admin.”


Eggs. The co-owner of Cavanagh Free-Range Eggs in Newtownbutler, Co. Fermanagh, Eileen Hall says before Brexit, “We used to sell a lot of eggs over to the UK.” But they have now decided to concentrate on the NI market instead because “everything seemed to be a lot of hassle.” Mrs Hall said, “Getting parts delivered from the mainland UK is another problem for us. [Suppliers] won’t deliver direct to Northern Ireland, so we have to order them and get them sent to our farm in Scotland, go over and fetch them and bring them back on the boat ourselves.”


Retail. Forme, one of Winchester’s longest-standing independent shops, is closing and moving to Italy. Brexit was one of the deciding factors. The family business, which sells Italian gift and homeware items, opened in Parchment Street 24 years ago but importing goods from Europe has become much more expensive and difficult with the number of companies that want to supply to England decreasing by about 80%.


Golden Visas. Spain is considering ending its so-called “golden visa” scheme, which has been used by Britons to obtain residency since Brexit. The scheme allows non-EU nationals a three-year residency if they buy property worth €500,000 (£436,000) or more or invest the same amount in businesses. The EU has warned its member states to end such schemes or make it harder for applicants to qualify, amid fears the programmes have been exploited by criminals to launder cash in villas or bogus companies.


Immigration. Immigration experts are predicting migration levels to the UK could soar to twice the numbers seen before Brexit, according to The Telegraph. The number entering the UK minus those leaving – could hit a record high of 675,000, double the pre-Brexit peak of 331,000 eight years ago and surpassing the previous record high of 504,000 set in the year to June 2022. The jump has been fuelled by a continued sharp increase in non-EU migrants entering the UK to work, study, escape conflict or oppression and join relatives. The number of EU citizens arriving has slumped since Brexit ended freedom of movement.


Giga factories. The CEO of the luxury-car maker Bentley, Adrian Hallmark, has warned the UK’s failure to attract investments from electric vehicle start-ups or large battery makers was “concerning.” He told the FT: It’s surprising, if not a bit concerning that no [electric vehicle] manufacturer or battery manufacturer has chosen the UK over any other location as an investment destination.” China’s BYD has previously said that it did not even consider a plant in the country because of its decision to leave the EU.


Regulations. A survey of members of the Institute of Directors on the impact of the government’s plans to scrap up to 4,000 EU laws has revealed that their “preference is for regulatory stability in the current framework”. Dr. Roger Barker, director of policy at the IOD said, “Rules and regulations across a range of business-relevant areas could be changed or removed without the normal processes of parliamentary scrutiny or stakeholder consultation. This gives rise to a level of regulatory uncertainty which is extremely unhelpful for business.”


Rewilding. The conservationist group Trees for Life has claimed that Brexit has made the task of rewilding Scotland more difficult. Steve Micklewright said that the UK leaving the EU had presented problems in their efforts to rewild an area of the Highlands “the size of a small country”. He said, ““We are one of the last beneficiaries of [European development funding] in Scotland. We won’t have that any more. So if somebody else wants a rewilding centre, a really important source of European funding … has gone.”


Labelling. Milk, butter, meat, fish and vegetables may be labelled “not for EU” across the whole of the UK, and not just Northern Ireland, as agreed under Rishi Sunak’s Windsor Framework which will begin coming into force in October. Sir Iain Duncan Smith has described the regulation as “ridiculous” while David Jones, former cabinet minister, said, “There is no good reason why food produced and sold in any part of the United Kingdom should be labelled ‘not for EU’, much less if it is sold in mainland Great Britain.”


REUL Bill. The government has awarded a £4mn contract to a top London law firm for help delivering on a promised post Brexit “bonfire” of 4,000 EU-era laws. The business department has hired lawyers from Hogan Lovells, one of the largest firms in the UK amid reports that the government is likely to fall short of its plan to rid the statute books of EU law by the end of the year.


Tourism. The co-owner of a cafe in Stirling has expressed disappointment that her application for cash to pilot a project to help recruit staff in the local area has been declined. Sarah Heward, co-owner of The Real Food Café, missed out on funding for her tourism and hospitality training scheme. Mrs Heward expressed frustration that so little is being done to tackle the labour shortage caused by Brexit which is threatening the viability of one of Scotland’s most economically important industries.


Trade. A South Korean keyboard manufacturer has a notice on their website: “Important announcement, For orders from the UK, orders under $200 will not be processed and it will be canceled due to Brexit.” Geon have been advised by their customs agent that there are many situations where customs clearance is delayed, so the amount excluding shipping could be more than $200 and so they decline orders below that value.


Labour shortages. A report by the House of Lords European Affairs committee has warned that the government needed to do more to address “well-documented labour shortages”. Post-Brexit visa rules need to be changed in order to help firms overcome worsening labour shortages. The complexity of visa regulations in the wake of Britain exiting the EU has proved a “significant barrier to mobility”


The City. Cambridge-based software company ARM has chosen to list on the New York Stock Exchange rather than London. ARM hope to raise $10billion with its initial public offering (IPO), an amount it believes would not be possible in Britain. The company’s co-founder Herman Hauser told the BBC: “The fact is that New York is a much deeper market than London, partially because of the the Brexit idiocy the image of the London Stock Exchange has suffered a lot in the international community.”


Science. An editorial in the world’s most prestigious scientific journal, Nature, argues that British scientists are right to reject the UK government’s proposed alternative to Horizon, the EU’s flagship €95 bn research funding scheme. The alternative plan, known as Pioneer, Nature say is ‘near-silent on maintaining the collaborations needed to meet crucial global goals on climate and sustainability and does not guarantee funding. The verdict of the leading UK research institutions is near-unanimous they claim: anything less than full membership of Horizon Europe will be an inferior outcome.


Audio-Visual services. Brexit has been overwhelmingly negative, according to the latest review of the country’s pro-AV market by AV Magazine. Potential upsides are ‘swamped by the experience today of red tape, uncertainty and loss of access to the EU single market.’ Ken Morrison, sales director at Sennheiser, says: “The benefit part is easy – there are none, travel is more expensive and more restricted, and international trade has become more challenging, leading to more vacant high street shops and empty offices. Combined with other factors such as rising fuel bills, it feels like the perfect storm.”

April 2023Bootstrap

Football. Top-flight UK football clubs need to comply with a complex governing body endorsement (GBE) points-based system to recruit overseas players after Brexit. The FA is now proposing a new plan to allow clubs to employ more foreign players with “great potential” and who make a “significant contribution” to be signed in exchange for allowing UK born players more ‘playing minutes.’ Paul Barber, Brighton & Hove Albion’s chief executive, said that UK clubs were at a “big disadvantage” with European rivals.


Hospitality. Brexit is said to be “killing the hospitality industry,” according to statistics compiled by The Independent. Almost 4,600 pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants closed in the year to 31 March 2023 a six-fold increase over 2022. It is claimed the figures lay bare the devastating impact of staff shortages caused by Brexit, as well as the cost of living crisis. Luke Wasserman, the co-owner of Fenn, a restaurant in Hackney said: “Prior to Brexit, I believe things were very different. We had 10 good candidates per job before we left the EU; now we are lucky if anyone turns up.”


Passports. Despite warnings, UK travellers trying to enter the Schengen zone are being turned away on a daily basis by airline staff at boarding gates – mostly because their UK passport is over ten years old. A teacher from Brighton, is one of the latest. Rosi Simpson was left “mortified and in tears” after easyJet staff refused to allow her to board a flight to Paris to see her son, who is studying there, because her UK passport had been issued 10 years and one day previously.”


Manufacturing. The MD of a Derbyshire-based playing card maker, Jeremy Shaw, says its export business has been almost completely wiped out by Brexit. The country’s leading producer of heritage playing cards has lost 85% of his company’s trade with EU customers – which accounted for 35% of its total turnover. Mr Shaw said, “The paperwork and the costs of getting packages over to the EU mean they think it is just not worth it. Brexit has been a complete and utter disaster.”


Standards: In a letter to Kemi Badenoch, the business secretary, 25 leading British safety bodies have warned that proceeding with plans to revoke or replace up to 4,000 Retained EU laws by the end of 2023, would inflict a serious blow to workplace standards. The group, which includes the TUC, the British Safety Council and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said the government’s timetable created dangerous uncertainty. TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said the legislation was “reckless” and could be a disaster for workers’ safety. “Ministers must step back from the brink and ditch this bill before it’s too late,” he added.


Microsoft: The President of US giant Microsoft, Brad Smith, has said the EU is a better place to start a business than Britain post-Brexit, as he launched a stinging attack on the UK’s decision to block a $69bn (£55bn) deal to takeover Activision Blizzard. Smith said people around the world were “shocked” by the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) ruling against the takeover of the Call of Duty developer, and suggested the decision would cause businesses to think twice about investing and growing their businesses in the UK.


Medicines: Research by Imperial College Business School suggests fewer novel drugs were authorised by the the UK’s Medicines Agency in 2021 – its first year of post Brexit independence – than by the EU. The MHRA issued 35 approvals in the UK, compared to 40 in Europe and 52 in the US. And Nearly 70% of new drugs authorised by UK authorities relied on the EU’s approval process. The report also says there were encouraging results from early steps made to fast-track new drugs.


Manufacturing: The CEO of Unipart, John Neil has told the BBC he is considering moving investment to the US or Europe due to new subsidies offered there. The parts and logistics giant has 8,000 employees and Neil has asked his team to consider whether the company should be “pivoting more into those markets and possibly also into our European companies”. It follows Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and similar plans being formulated in Brussels. The UK government has made no announcement so far.


Borders: The Telegraph’s chief consumer and culture editor, Nick Trend says processing times for British passport holders arriving at EU airports are highly unpredictable, and it is now “rare to get through without a wait.” Brexit, he says, has made the whole experience of crossing borders even worse. When the EU’s automated Entry Exit System (EES) enters into force it will hold more data on UK citizens that the British government system, including the date and place of entry and exit, and our fingerprints.


Luxury goods: Gerry Murphy, chairman of the luxury goods retailer Burberry, said the the scrapping of VAT refunds for tourists after Brexit was a “spectacular own goal” and had made Britain the “least attractive shopping destination in Europe.” Murphy said leaving the single market had had a “significant friction effect on trade.” He challenged Rishi Sunak at the Business Connect conference in London, which saw around 200 high-profile chief executives given the opportunity to question the prime minister.


Exodus: Brexit has been blamed for the surge in UK chief executives quitting their jobs, according to research by management consultants Russel Reynolds, reported in The Telegraph. The number jumped by 111% in 2022, as bosses battle sluggish growth and a nightmare of EU red tape. This far exceeded the 39% increase among America’s S&P 500. The research found that 38 chief executives quit as the heads of Britain’s largest listed companies, up from just 18 in 2021.


Food safety: Writing in the British Medical Journal, academics at Newcastle University have claimed that the UK’s post-Brexit decision to join the CPTPP, one of the world’s largest free trade agreements could threaten public health. They call for an “health impact assessment” to be carried our before signing the deal, which they said could “lead to a weakening of food safety standards” and could compromise situations where the “precautionary principle” is used to make laws to protect public health – such as when it comes to regulation of alcohol and tobacco.


Food inflation: A member of a major British business group, speaking to Politico on condition of anonymity, said that post-Brexit red tape for EU imports coming in in October via the government’s Target Border Operating Model will mean “some producers on the EU side will find it is no longer possible to trade with the UK”, adding that “It will add to the costs, and probably inflation, but I think we need to go through this so we can work with the EU to find advantageous improvements”.


Education: Dundee and Angus College have suffered an estimated £1mn drop in funding since Brexit. In a new report Gregory Colgan, Dundee City Council’s CEO said, “Despite the allocations, the resources available for Dundee fall short of what would have been expected from the EU.” A spokesperson for the college said: “Reduction in European funding has been a concern for D&A College since Brexit, as it is for the local region.


Financial services: Milan is said to have become an Italian powerhouse with “newfound energy and confidence” partly driven by Brexit. A significant number of bankers, fund managers and other financial services workers have shifted from London to Milan with the pace of relocation an accelerating trend over the last couple of years. A banker who returned to Milan after ten years in London said: “You have the same financial community you had in London but in a place where there are tax incentives, and where the weather and quality of life are better.”


Books: At the 2023 London Book Fair, not a single publisher contacted by the trade journal Publishers Weekly had a single positive thing to say about the impact of Brexit. Everything is more expensive including printing, warehousing and shipping, with endless forms and returned packages. Peter Gill, managing director at Graffeg, also claims: “Brexit triggered more than import export issues, it destroyed the prospect of working with European partners on development projects, where benefits and outcomes could be shared alike.”


Trade: The latest ONS Trade statistics say in 2021, the first full year after Brexit, Britain fell in the global ranking of the top 30 exporting countries for both goods and services, from fifth place to seventh , slipping behind France and Holland. Using the chained volume measure to remove the effects of inflation, the ONS said UK trade (both exports and imports) has “remained relatively stable over the past year”.


Transport: There has been a “huge” increase in the number of enquiries from UK haulage and warehousing firms desperately trying to employ foreign workers, according to law firm Aaron & Partners and reported by MotorTransport. Adam Haines, immigration and employment law partner, said: “There’s a growing skills shortage in the UK and with historically low levels of unemployment, many companies are turning to other countries to address these issues” adding that the problem could run to the “end of 2023 and beyond”.


Language teaching: English UK (EUK), the association representing the English Language Training (ELT) sector say 83% of the EU youth groups who enjoyed study holidays in Britain chose to go elsewhere in the summer of 2022 due to new post-Brexit passport and visa requirements. This compares to ELT competitors within the EU, Ireland and Malta, which lost just 30% of their equivalent trade after covid. EUK say unless the UK government reform the rules the £1.4bn sector may not recover until 2030. Some 25% of European study travel agent believe it will never fully recover.


Technology: Herman Hauser, co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners and ARM Holdings, has put the chances of Britain becoming the next Silicon Valley as the chancellor has suggested, at “zero.” He told the BBC’s Newsnight that in regard to semiconductors Britain will always remain a “minnow” and said the 2016 Brexit referendum vote was the “biggest loss of British sovereignty since 1066”.


Fishing: Scarborough and Whitby MP Sir Robert Goodwill claims Whitby Seafoods and the port of Kilkeel in Co Down, that rely fishers from the Philippines to harvest langoustines could go out of business without special visa exemptions. “I am not crying wolf when I say this is really putting at risk the scampi industry,” Sir Robert told MPs. Post Brexit changes to the visa system in March mean overseas fishermen now need a skilled migration visa, with the Home Office refusing exemptions. DUP MP Carla Lockhart said “It is inexplicable that the Government are singling out the fishing industry for a separate, damaging policy.


Tourism: Tom Jenkins, chief executive of ETOA, the European tourism association says the UK is also losing out on tourists from the rest of the world. “People are starting to drop the UK as a gateway to a European tour,” he said. “It’s not the only factor, but previously we had been the principal arrival point for people coming to Europe from America, from Japan, and anywhere else.” He added that, “This is really Brexit biting everyone on the backside”.


Charities: Northern Ireland charities are poised to lose millions in EU money next year as a result of Brexit, leading to warnings that their survival is on the line. These NGOs claim the British government’s replacement fund will leave a hole in their finances, potentially exacerbating social inequalities.


Pharmacies: England’s pharmacies are said to be ‘on the brink of collapse’ – struggling with a shortage of staff and medical supplies – combined with increased patient demand and soaring costs, according to an industry survey shared with Channel 4. The problems are caused by a combination of factors including Brexit, the war in Ukraine and the aftermath of the pandemic.


Ireland: In stark contrast to the UK, Ireland’s Economic and Social Research Institute think tank predicts the country’s economy will grow 5.5% this year, and a huge 6% next year. Meanwhile, Britain’s Office for Budget Responsibility predict that the UK economy would shrink by 0.2% in 2023. Many economists argue that the ‘major cause’ is Brexit. Ireland’s GDP per capita is now twice that of the UK.


Trade deficit: The trade deficit widened in February as export volumes declined to more than 9% below the 2019 pre-pandemic average even after global trade increased by 23% in 2021 alone. The ONS estimates that the damage from Brexit is likely to have been even larger than the trade figures suggest because changes in its data collection methods have boosted present trade data relative to how the numbers would have been measured before 2022.


Food safety: Professor Chris Elliott, who headed the horsemeat scandal inquiry in 2013 warns the UK is isolated from intelligence over food supply chains in Europe, increasing the risk of new scandals. Elliott said that Brexit meant the UK no longer benefited from membership and intelligence briefings of the EU Agri-Food Fraud Network, which helps coordinate activities concerning cross-border food fraud.


Exodus: Simon French, Head of Research at investment bank Panmure Gordon, said Brexit has been a “big contributing factor” in companies snubbing the City of London in favour of listing in New York. UK stock market valuations have slumped since the 2016 vote to leave the EU. Flutter Entertainment, which owns bookmaker Paddy Power, is reported to be consulting shareholders over a listing on the NYSE. They would follows Chip maker Arm and building materials firm CRH, which have a combined market value of around £80bn, in choosing the US over London.


Ineos: The Monaco based owner of Ineos Chemicals, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has announced plans to build an electric version of its new Grenadier off-road vehicle in Austria. Billionaire Ratcliffe, a vocal Brexit backer, chose a French factory to build the the original Grenadier, meaning Britain has twice lost out on significant investment.


The City: Bloomberg report that two years after Brexit there has been a clear shift by financial firms across the Channel with several European Union cities sharing the spoils at the expense of London. Paris is said to be the bloc’s new pre-eminent financial hub while Amsterdam, Frankfurt. Dublin, Milan, Madrid and Warsaw are playing important supporting roles. The City has effectively given up its mantle as the default location for companies to tap global pools of capital via stock and bond markets.


SMEs: Research by Birmingham Business School suggests that Midlands-based SMEs face extra costs, delays and disruption in getting supplies into the EU. Some EU customers have turned to EU-based suppliers, and in other cases, Midlands-based firms have opened or expanded operations in the EU. Importing firms are responding to Brexit in several ways, such as switching to non-EU sourcing. Smaller firms are said to really struggle with customs and rules of origin paperwork resulting in some companies ceasing to export or using expensive stockpiling at hubs inside the bloc.


The economy: The UK economy is yet to feel the worst impacts of Brexit, according to Kristine Braden, CEO of Citibank Europe. Speaking at a Bloomberg during panel discussion at the New Economy Gateway Europe conference, she said, “The messier part is yet to come,” in terms of the impact on financial services. Citigroup Inc is still in the process of moving employees and is now entering a third phase, moving some of its products from the UK to other European countries. Her view was backed up by APCO Worldwide LLC adviser Declan Kelleher, who said cross-border trade frictions are likely to increase as the UK begins to implement new rules.


Compensation: Passengers on bus and coach trips to the continent which are delayed could lose their right to compensation under the controversial retained EU law (REUL) bill. Legislation specifically designed to offer redress for those on trips of longer than 250km (155 miles) has been omitted from a government list of more than 3,700 laws that could be scrapped. Rocio Concha, the director of policy and advocacy at the Which? consumer group, said: “It’s clear that the government does not currently have a firm enough grip on the extent of legislation which is at risk of simply slipping off the statute books by mistake.”


Books: Shipping books to the EU is now expensive and complex. Rail Books in the UK for example quote £30 for economy courier delivery (£55 express) for a book costing £4.50 in the UK. This is on a DDU basis (Incoterms – delivered, duty unpaid) which means the EU customer may also be charged import duty as well.


Spouse visas: Annabel Fenwick Elliott, a freelance journalist who is listed on Muckrack as a senior content editor at The Telegraph, has been left ‘crushed’ after she was unable to obtain a spouse visa for her German born fiancé to come and live in London with her and their son Jasper. Elliot, writing in The Times, says she was unable to meet the minimum earnings threshold of £22,400 after being on unpaid maternity leave last year.


Cornwall: Cornish food businesses have claimed lack of government support and labour shortages have left them “stunted” post-Brexit, according to The Grocer. The biggest challenges are linked to staffing and skills shortages post-Brexit, maintaining trade with the EU and accessing new markets outside Cornwall, a recent survey of about 50 Cornish businesses showed. Louise Ellis, co-founder of food and drink network Cornwall Gateway. “Our farms relied on European workers – we’re now watching them stockpile stuff on their fields. I’ve never seen so much wasted crops, ahead of Christmas you could smell rotten broccoli and brussels sprouts in the fields.”


Culture. The New Musical Express (NME) are reporting figures in the UK music industry suggesting that first summer of post-pandemic touring has shown that the complications of Brexit are “strangling the next generation of UK talent in the cradle”. Artists and managers tell how the “nightmare” of new red tape saw artists suffering due to “Brexit f**k-ups and a lack of government control” – with White Lies one of the major acts forced to cancel dates in Europe due to their equipment being held up.


Culture. A three-piece punk-rock band from Stuttgart, due to play seven venues in the UK last week, was turned away by the UK Border Force at Calais. Their passports were confiscated and Border Force officials demanded a “certificate of sponsorship” (COS) from each venue they were due to play. The band did not have the COS certificates and had planned to enter the UK under the “permitted paid engagement” (PPE) exemption, which is free.


Economy. Millions of British workers will be about £1,300 worse off a year due to Brexit according to John Springford, deputy director at the Centre for European Reform, told the Evening Standard. He highlighted the blow to people’s income, compared with what it would likely have been if the UK had not quit the European Union, its biggest trading partner.


Economy. Using figures from the Office for National Statistics, the FT has shown that Britain’s goods exports are lagging all other G7 economies, which trade experts say provides more evidence of the impact of Brexit. Quarterly figures published by the ONS in March showed that in the last three months of 2022, UK export volumes, excluding precious metals, were more than 9 per cent below the 2019 pre-pandemic average.


Culture. Several key members of a Ukrainian state orchestra have been refused visas to play a series of concerts, which had been had been promoted on the UK government website as an example of British-Ukrainian relations. The Khmelnitsky Orchestra had been due to play: The Magical Music of Harry Potter, and The Music From the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and The Rings of Power. The show's promoter described it as a “catastrophe” that cost it more than €100,000 (£88,000).


Manufacturing. An Ilkeston Lace maker, Cluny Lace, say the 200 year old business may be forced to close after HMRC demanded 8% duty is paid on the company's own stock when it returns from a specialist dyer in France. MD Charles Mason told the BBC that soaring costs, Covid, the loss of export markets and new customs tariffs had left the company struggling. Six staff have been made redundant and the situation was "awful", he added.


Economy. The soaring cost of food and insurance has been blamed on Brexit by Engin Kara, a professor in macroeconomics at Cardiff University. He blames “a supply and demand mismatch” that he says Brexit has made much harder to correct. Previously, if egg production in the UK is lower, more eggs can be easily imported from another EU country, stabilising prices. This is no longer true.And he is pessimistic about the future: “Simply put, prices will continue to increase until we are poor enough not to afford as much as we did before.”


Border. New imports controls to be introduced in October are set to add millions to the costs of bringing in goods and produce from the EU, according to the FT. Using government figures, they claim the so-called 'light-touch' checks will add £420 million a year to the cost of imports. Although this is less than the £820 million originally forecast, it will still mean UK consumers
will pay higher prices.


Transport. Belmond, the company that runs the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE), has decided to drop the London-to-Folkestone leg of the route because it has become too difficult to cross the border to Calais. A spokesperson said, “We’re adjusting operations in 2024 ahead of enhanced passport and border controls. We want to avoid any risk of travel disruption for our guests – delays and missing train connections – and provide the highest level of service, as seamless and relaxed as possible.”


Opera. Brexit has done “terrible damage” to opera according to set designer Anthony McDonald and director Oliver Mears who have spoken to The Stage about the current state of opera in the UK. Mr McDonald said: “Brexit has done terrible damage because it has absolutely curtailed people’s careers, because this thing about only being allowed into Europe for so many days of a year means great singers are turning down roles abroad. This is also a tragedy.”


Tourism. Significant numbers of French and German tourists are beginning to avoid the UK because of post-Brexit restrictions on travelling with identity cards. The number of passenger vehicles transported by Le Shuttle through the Channel tunnel in the first two months of 2023 fell by 20% while Brittany Ferries saw a fall of 54% in arrivals in 2022 compared with 2019. Jersey’s government has announced a pilot project allowing French citizens to show their ID cards on day trips to the island.


Wine. The Daily Mail report that a ‘double whammy’ tax rise amounting to 20 per cent will push up the cost of Australian wine by at least 53p from August 1, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. This, it says, will more than wipe out any benefit of removing import tariffs of between 6p and 9p a bottle when the free trade deal comes into force later this year.


Museums. The Art Newspaper points out that the National Gallery has lost more visitors in the past four years than any other museum or gallery in the global top 100. Whereas many of Paris’s museums are within 10 per cent of their 2019 figures, London’s are mostly 30 to 40 per cent below. One possible reason The Times says, is because post Brexit, any Chinese or Japanese tourist “doing Europe” now needs an extra visa to include Britain in their travels. Similarly, far fewer EU school parties come here because they can no longer enter on a group passport or ID cards.


Schools. In what they described as a “Kafkaesque” nightmare, French schoolteachers organising a €450 four-day package trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, have told the FT that because three of the party of 40 children were non-EU nationals they are now required to obtain individual visas, with each application costing €120 and requiring a trip to Paris or the nearest regional visa office. Even so, three were rejected and the experience of dealing with the Home Office had been so bad the headteacher had cancelled all future trips to the UK until conditions improved.


Canaries. Bird hobbyists have warned that a rare canary species bred for centuries in Britain may become a thing of the past because of Brexit. Access to the birds, particularly in the Netherlands and Belgium where canary and budgie breeding is also popular, has been lethally impeded by new rules. Each bird now has to be tested and certified for five diseases before it can travel between the UK and the EU.


Food. The UK’s new post-Brexit border plan, published last week, could see food companies paying many millions of pounds to help the government recover costs for its new Brexit border posts according to an article in The Grocer. From next year, UK importers will need to pay a new border inspection charge of up to £43 per consignment. This is in addition to the EU exporters’ costs for environmental health certificates (up to €700) and specialised shipping agents charges (€50 -€200).


Borders. The Port of Dover has announced plans to avoid a repeat of last weeks disruption (see 980). The plans include reducing coach traffic at peak times and spreading travel across a 3-day period from 6 to 8 April and installing additional temporary border control infrastructure which is being trialled this week in readiness for the Easter weekend. Coach and car drivers are being advised not to arrive early to avoid unnecessary bottlenecks.


Eggs. The British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) has reacted with disbelief that import tariffs on eggs and egg products are to be phased out following the government announcement that the UK is set to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). BEIC chief executive Mark Williams said, “Government instead chose to prioritise economics over animal welfare.” CPTPP member Mexico uses 99% caged birds, a practice banned in the UK since 2012 on cruelty grounds.


Import checks. Goods imported from the EU will be subject to new red tape from October, after the UK government today released its new post-Brexit Target Border Operating Model. The Cold Chain Federation claims the ‘light touch’ proposals will not solve the real risks facing post-Brexit food supply chains and will exacerbate shortages and inflation. The plans, say the CCF, “will make it more expensive, slower, and more complicated to export products such as meat and dairy from the EU into the UK.”


Travel. Coach operators have reacted angrily to the decision by Eurotunnel to limit the number of coaches that it conveys on its shuttle service between Dover and Calais. Eurotunnel say that limits will be in place for the peak summer period. Tracy Bayliss, Eurotunnel Business Manager said also that no online bookings will be taken for this summer explaining that the restrictions are necessary because of pressures on capacity and staff resource. Prices for those coach spaces that are available will increase, she added.


Borders. Coaches are experiencing 12 hour delays at Dover due to long border processing times and bad weather. P&O Ferries reported coach delays of three hours this morning – and people in cars said they too were stuck. Some coaches, including for school trips, had to wait at the port overnight and around 400 more were expected to arrive today. Travel writer Simon Calder, told the BBC that having an EU border at Dover meant things were “gumming up”, and that each individual passport must now be inspected and stamped.


Festival of Brexit. The Unboxed science and arts festival, formerly known as the festival of Brexit, has cost taxpayers £116 million and reached a third of the original attendance target of 66 million. Just 2.7 million people went to a live event, with another 15.8 million engaging online. The National Audit Office said that the festival failed to reach “public awareness.”


The City. London remains Europe’s dominant financial hub says The Telegraph while failing to mention that New York overtook it as the world’s pre-eminent financial centre in 2018. Elsewhere, CityAM says The City of London Corporation has warned that the Square Mile’s competitive advantage is “at risk.”


Confidence in Westminster. The Guardian report on a recent survey by King’s College showing that since Brexit, the number of people declaring confidence in parliament has slumped by 10 percentage points to 22% while there has been a seven percentage point rise in confidence in the Brussels-based bloc, to 39%. Former Brexit secretary David Davis has related it to the right-wing press at The Sun, Daily Telegraph, Times and Daily Mail no longer “kicking Brussels all the time” as they did in the run-up to the 2016 referendum.


Broadcasters. Brussels is considering removing the UK from the list of countries that streaming giants can use to meet EU quotas for “European” TV shows, say The Telegraph. Under the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive, on-demand platforms must carry at least 30 per cent European content in their catalogues but an EU Commission policy paper suggested that UK shows should not be classified as “European” because of Brexit when the rules are revised. This could impact services like Netflix.

March 2023Bootstrap

Food standards. The EU’s directorate general for health and food safety, covering 18 countries that are part of the EU food fraud network (not the UK after Brexit) has found 100% of honey samples from the UK were adulterated with cheap sugar syrup. Arturo Carrillo, the Mexico-based coordinator of the international Honey Authenticity Network, said: “The UK is flooded with very cheap adulterated honey imported from China. What is disappointing is that the British authorities have been very, very much reluctant to accept and address this tremendous problem.”


Back to work help. Back-to-work schemes across England previously funded by the EU are being forced to close and lay off staff, despite a last-minute change of heart by the government. The Department for Levelling Up (DLUHC) wrote to local authorities last week giving them the green light to spend their shared prosperity fund (SPF) allocations on job schemes, from April. Liz Tapner, the chief executive of the Lancashire social enterprise network Selnet, said: “I’m serving redundancy notices to 12 members of my team today, it’s so sad.”


Vehicle type approval. From February 2024, new models of “power driven vehicles” for the movement of passengers and goods on British roads will require separate GB type approval (this excludes Northern Ireland, where UK(NI) or EU type approvals must be used) adding a layer of extra post-Brexit complexity, time and cost for both UK and EU manufacturers. Trailers and semi-trailers will need separate GB approval from February 2025. EU makers without a GB based representative will need to appoint one.


Broadcasters. According to The Telegraph, Brussels is considering removing the UK from the list of countries that streaming giants can use to meet EU quotas for “European” TV shows. On-demand platforms like Netflix must carry at least 30 per cent European content in their catalogues under the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive. An EU briefing paper suggests that UK shows should not be classified as “European” because of Brexit when the rules are revised.


Skills shortage. Employment group Manpower said the number of employers reporting skills shortages has increased six-fold over the last decade – and more than doubled since pre-Brexit and the pandemic. Four in five businesses are said to be struggling to fill vacancies because of a lack of skilled workers – the highest number in 17 years, new research suggests.


Inflation. A member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee Catherine Mann, says that Brexit has helped fuel the highest food inflation in 45 years after causing an exodus of small EU exporters from the UK market. Mann claimed Brexit was an important driver of the accelerating food-price surge gripping UK households after tangling up EU firms in costly red tape. “It gets too expensive to get over the red tape and so forth, so that’s an important ingredient,” she said.


Regulation. Sir Patrck Vallance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, has been reviewing regulation of new technologies for the chancellor has said UK companies do not want to diverge from EU rules. Vallance said that although there was a need to be “flexible” in the early stages of a new field, “as technology becomes mature, and it becomes more established companies actually want consistent regulation across different countries. They don’t want lots of different regulation.” He made it “very clear” to ministers that “convergence becomes important as technologies mature”.


Gibraltar. The UK and Spain are at loggerheads over who should check the passports of people arriving at Gibraltar airport. To allow passport free travel between the enclave and Spain post-Brexit, Spanish authorities say it is they who must check all passports coming into Gibraltar. “There is no doubt. It is the only way. The passport checks have to be done by the Policía Nacional,” an official is quoted as saying.


Manufacturing. A British maker of children’s bicycles, Frog Bikes has said mounting Brexit costs drove it into the red last year. The company’s annual accounts released on last week, show pre-tax losses of over half a million pounds for the year to the end of February 2022. In the report, Frog Bikes co-founders and directors Jerry and Shelley Lawson say the company had struggled with the “continuing friction” caused by the UK’s departure from the EU, which took effect in January 2020.


Fishing. Pembrokeshire fishers are facing a £199 fee to export their products to the EU. The fee is being introduced by the County Council for providing Export Health Certificates, mandatory for all companies in the UK exporting or moving live animal products to the EU post-Brexit. A spokesperson from Pembrokeshire CC said: “As a result of Brexit, fishery products exported to the European Union from the United Kingdom now require an EHC, as laid out in the Official Control Regulations 2017/625.”


Border controls. Almost half a billion pounds of taxpayers’ cash has been spent on sites for Brexit import checks that were never introduced after a government U-turn, according to the i newspaper. Seven Inland Border Facilities (IBFs) were built at a cost of £466 mn to inspect plant and animal goods from the EU, before ministers shelved the policy over a feared £1bn hit to trade that would trigger food shortages.


Hospitality. Bristol hotel and bar managers have condemned a government decision not to fast-track visas for EU workers. Official figures show hospitality vacancies have risen by 72% since Brexit. The owner of Espensen Spirits bar, Sam Espensen, says she is finding it difficult to staff big events. “We’ve had Italian chefs, we’ve had French bartenders, I had a wonderful Portuguese guy who would come and do weddings and events bars with me. All of them left because of Brexit, and none of them are coming back,” she said.


Trade. According to a new report by the think tank UK in a Changing Europe looking at manufacturing in the Midlands, Brexit has imposed extra burdens on firms in terms of compliance costs, supply chain disruption and additional inventory costs, labour shortages, regulatory issues and funding for R&D. In some cases, such firms have either ceased exporting or now stockpile at hubs in EU member states. Manufacturers also face barriers to repatriating activity, especially in the context of deep fractures and gaps in the domestic supply chain.


Creative industries. A survey carried out by the website shows Brexit is ‘hampering creativity’ in the UK design industry with leading design companies sinking in a “quagmire of extra administration and paperwork.” Faye Toogood, who runs her own brand of clothing, furniture and object says, “The number one issue at the moment for us is operations and logistics. My bill for that has tripled. Post-Brexit, moving any goods or any samples around in Europe costs so much more, and the price of red tape is prohibitively high.”


Bentley. Jan-Henrik Lafrentz, the chief financial officer of Bentley Cars, has said Brexit continues to act as a drag on its business with extra admin costs amounting to around EUR5-7m a year. But, Lanfrentz says, “It’s not about the money, things like people moves inside the company [across brands and countries] can take a lot more time to organise compared with before; up to six months. These things have an impact in the long run and it’s a big change from before. What we need is stability.”


Trade. The CEO of Comtek Network Systems UK Ltd, a global provider of hardware for the Telecoms, Datacoms, and Network service industry, says that Brexit has caused “fundamental deep-rooted damage to British exports. Askar Sheibani, says ONS figures for the last quarter of 2022 shows, the UK imported about £33bn more than it exported to the EU, the worst performance for the UK export trade balance since records began in 1997. The UK’s trade balance with the rest of the world also hit a “record low” of £11.4billion during a period when trade among the world’s advanced economies increased by 4% above its 2018 level.


Business investment. The OBR economic forecast published alongside the budget, says (page 48) business investment growth in the UK “stalled in the years after the EU referendum.” On the eve of the pandemic it was 16.2 per cent below the OBR’s pre-referendum expectations and more recently, the pandemic and the increase in global energy prices have also weighed on investment. But in the face of these global shocks, UK business investment (outside housing) has “continued to underperform relative to other G7 countries.”


Electric vehicles. The world’s largest seller of electric and hybrid cars has ruled out building its first European car factory in the UK because of Brexit. China’s BYD has set out plans to become one of top three EV brands in Europe. But its European president Michael Shu said the UK did not even make the top 10 possible locations for its first European plant, with a shortlist of sites in Germany, France, Spain, Poland and Hungary. He told the FT, “Without Brexit, maybe. But after Brexit, we don’t understand what happened. The UK doesn’t have a very good solution. Even on the long list we didn’t have the UK.”


Downton Abbey. Highclere Castle in Hampshire, where the period drama Downton Abbey was filmed, is facing a serious staffing crunch as a result of the impact of Brexit on Britain’s labour market. The shortage of staff has forced owner Fiona Carnarvon to mothball the castle’s main business of hosting larger weddings on the site of the award-winning show. “We have stopped being able to offer any weddings of any substantial size because of Brexit,” Ms Carnarvon, a countess who owns Highclere with her husband, the eighth Earl of Carnarvon, said.


Border costs. The UK government’s giant Brexit border control site off the M20 at Sevington near Ashfird in Kent is likely to cost taxpayers a staggering £70 million, it has emerged. Critics say the massive sums forked, “could have been better spent elsewhere”. The controversial 230-acre site was built in order for checks on imports arriving in lorries from the EU. In January, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed it has “no current operations” at Sevington “except a small presence” which “was temporarily available for holding pets during the Ukraine response”.


Retailers. The British Retail Consortium says costs and delays arising from new post-Brexit customs checks, particularly for food, has been bad news for UK-based retailers operating stores in or sending parcels to the EU. Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the BRC says, “The truth is that it will be in the next few years that we are likely to see the impact of Brexit affecting retailers. Firstly, towards the end of the year, the government will begin to introduce UK border controls. By early 2024, all imports will be subject to full checks, including inspection at the ports. Although the government is working on a streamlined system, delays and costs will be inevitable.”


Defence. Britain’s defence industry is set to miss out on the EU’s vast increase in spending on arms for Ukraine, under a leaked plan seen by The Guardian. A “massive order” for ammunition, ranging from small arms to 155mm artillery rounds, is being prepared in Brussels with France, Germany and Italy, the home of Europe’s biggest arms manufacturers, likely to be the biggest beneficiaries. A diplomatic source said, “Essentially, this is a zero-sum game and the proposal will bolster [the] European defence industry at the costs of those outside the union.”


Baby food. New EU rules slashing the amount of arsenic permitted in baby food by 80% have highlighted how Northern Ireland is caught between different rules set by Brussels and London, despite the Windsor Framework. NI consumers can still buy baby food with higher levels of arsenic if the ingredients or the finished product are imported from GB. Andy Meharg, a professor of plant and soil science at Queen’s University Belfast said, “This is great news for babies, it’s just not good news for British babies or Northern Irish babies.”


Meat. Post-Brexit trade deals with Canada and Mexico will include imports of high-carbon beef and low-welfare pork, according to The Guardian. Animal welfare charities have raised concerns, including over hormone-fed meat. James West, a senior policy manager at Compassion in World Farming, said: “The majority of Mexican pigs are raised in intensive conditions and the use of sow stalls, which have been illegal in the UK since 1999, are permitted. Furthermore, ractopamine, a growth promoter used in pigs that is banned in the UK, is also allowed in Mexico.” Canada also permits the use of hormones in farming and has objected to the UK’s ban on hormone-fed beef.


Financial Services. Sir Nigel Wilson, chief executive of Legal & General, has told the FT about the “perpetual drift” of companies away from London’s stock market to the EU and the USA, arguing that a low-growth economy and political infighting have eroded the UK’s appeal. A string of departures from London has unnerved British policymakers and regulators and underlines the UK’s difficulty in attracting and retaining companies, despite the government’s attempts to reinvigorate the City after Brexit.


Food shortages. The current shortages of salad vegetables has been blamed on Brexit by the founder of the organic farming cooperative Riverford. Guy Singh-Watson said, “The reason people don’t want to talk to or export to the UK is that we’re a customer of last resort because we’re such a pain in the arse to deal with because the paperwork associated with Brexit is expensive, time-consuming and it involves the loss of flexibility that most businesses if they can, will avoid.”


Trade. A survey of members by the trade body Make UK, says frayed relations with the EU are costing the British economy, as suppliers in the bloc grow more cautious about doing business with post-Brexit Britain. Almost a fifth of manufacturers said they had reduced the number of suppliers from the EU in the last 12 months. However, the report showed damage to the UK’s image and trading relationship was not limited to partners in the EU, with 35% of firms agreeing that suppliers from the rest of the world were also cautious about Britain.


Banking. The US bank Citigroup said on Monday that it planned to double the number of staff in Paris by building a new trading floor in the French capital, part of a gradual shift by global lenders away from London. Fabio Lisanti, the head of the bank’s European trading business said, “We’ve been able to hire talent in Paris that we would never have been able to attract in London.”

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Building. A 66 year-old building company in Jersey, Camerons Ltd, has ceased trading with its board of directors saying a “period of financial difficulty” had been caused by many factors, including Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. A statement provided by parent company the Garenne Group, said rising interest rates, supply chain issues, materials and labour shortages had also caused it to cease trading.


Adult learning. A Bristol based social enterprise, Step and Stones, which teaches adults with learning disabilities to bake artisanal bread and has relied on a £20,000 grant from the European Social Fund (ESF), says some adults could miss out on vital job training when grant ends. Step and Stone co-founder Jane Chong, who has a 27-year-old son with Down’s syndrome said there was no clear mechanism to obtain replacement funding.


Turnips. A farmer in the constituency of environment secretary Therese Coffey has blamed Brexit for the collapse of his company. Richard Parry, dubbed Britain’s ‘Turnip King’ says a combination of rising energy prices and labour shortages, partly caused by Brexit, made his turnip business financially unviable. Mr Parry said the number of turnips produced on his 120-hectare farm had dropped by two-thirds in the past 15 years.


Fishing. Mike Park, chief executive of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association, which initially supported Brexit now say the move has delivered little for Scotland’s fishing fleet. “Increases in catch quotas that we were promised have never materialised,” he said, “and the extra costs of sending products overseas have crippled many smaller businesses.” Scotland’s fishing and seafood industries is said to be still snarled in costly red tape, worker shortages and disappointing catch quotas.


Food and drink. Almost half of food and drink manufacturers in the UK claim their competitiveness with the EU has fallen in the past year. A survey by the Food and Drink Federation claims continued challenges with post-Brexit border checks and bureaucracy, as well as the saga over the Northern Ireland protocol, are among the key issues holding back trade. When specifically asked about competitiveness with EU markets in the past year, 47% of respondents said it had declined, compared to just 5% who said it had improved.


The land bridge. Brexit has seen a fivefold increase in freight traffic between Rosslare Europort in Ireland and EU ports at Cherbourg, Le Havre, Bilbao, Dunkirk and Zeebrugge, creating hundreds of new jobs. This more than offsets the slump in freight using the land bridge from Holyhead to Dover and Folkestone. In Cherbourg, Yannick Millet, the port’s managing director said, “That’s absolutely a Brexit effect, the land bridge via Britain is broken, and we’re the beneficiaries.” Freight to and from mainland Europe soared from just 36,000 units in 2019 to 137,000 in 2022.


Farming. The National Farmers Union have told ministers that Britain’s farmers are being battered by a storm of rising costs, labour shortages, bird flu and post-Brexit changes to support payments. “Volatility, uncertainty and instability” are endangering UK farm businesses, according to the NFU, which is urging the government to support British food producers so they can keep supplying squeezed UK households and a growing global population.


Semiconductors. Paragraf, a spin-off company from the Materials Science Department at Cambridge University, says it may have to move abroad, according to The Telegraph. Paragraf is the world’s only manufacturer of 2D graphene chips for sensors but took six months to obtain a work visa for a German specialist, and nine months for an Indian. CEO Simon Thomas said, “These are highly skilled people. There are never enough visas, and it is expensive for us, and expensive for them. The Government is throttling how quickly we can grow.”


Fishing. Appearing before the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee last week, Fisheries minister Mark Spencer refused to give the industry any assurance that the UK will have an exclusive 12 mile limit when the Brexit fisheries deal is renegotiated in 2026. including access for foreign vessels within the UK 6-12 mile limit.


Farming. An associate professor of horticulture at University College Dublin, Owen Doyle, has said that UK farmers are finding it hard to stay in the industry: “There are growers in England who have not planted at all this year. They have made the decision to not grow a crop because they cannot make the figures add up,” he said. The horticulture sector is facing the “Brexit bonuses” of low labour supply and high energy costs.


Salads. Shortages of salad crops, particularly tomatoes, have been reported with some supermarkets rationing supplies. The general secretary of the Murcia branch of ASAJA, Spain’s biggest farming association, said he was puzzled by the media talk of weather-induced shortages. “Things are normal so far this season so I don’t know if it’s more a problem of UK logistics since the Brexit regulations came into effect.” He acknowledged that frosts had affected some artichoke and lettuce crops but said they were not serious or widespread enough to have significantly reduced market supplies.


Football: After Brexit, British soccer clubs found themselves unable to sign the best teenage players from abroad until they turn 18. FIFA’s Article 19 rule had established a general ban on minors transferring internationally, but made an exemption for players over the age of 16 moving within the EU. This allows EU clubs to sign young talented Irish players before they become eligible to move to the UK.


Entrepreneurs: The UK has fallen in a ranking of the world’s best countries for entrepreneurship after scoring poorly for infrastructure, ease of entry for foreign workers and red tape linked to Brexit. The country is now ranked at 25 out of 51 countries, down from 18 last year, according to the annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) research, led by Aston Business School. It is the second year of decline after the UK’s highest ranking at 14 in 2020.


TV Drama: The Telegraph, says TV dramas are being unexpectedly dropped thanks to soaring costs, skills shortages and an oversaturated market. Ed Waller, editorial director of trade journal C21 Media says: “Talent costs are going through the roof – there’s a skills shortage behind the camera and European crews are reluctant to come to the UK post-Brexit. That means we just don’t have enough people to film good drama.”


Semiconductors. As the EU commits €43 billion euros to Europe’s semiconductor industry with the aim of producing 20% of the world’s electronic chips by 2030, UK chip makers are crying out for financial support from the government. After Brexit, the UK will not benefit from EU funds and is unlikely to have the same resources. Pragmatic Semiconductor, a Cambridge, based startup that produces non-silicon chips, warned it may be forced to relocate overseas if the government doesn’t issue a plan for the industry soon.


The City. Nicholas Lyons, the 694th Lord Mayor of the City of London, speaking to The Irish Times, has said; “[Brexit] hasn’t been as bad as people had expected in terms of job losses but it continues to be irritating. So far there hasn’t been any benefit to the services industry from Brexit and therefore there have only been disadvantages but there is an opportunity with some regulatory change for that to improve. Brexit was not something that we wanted, it hasn’t been devastatingly bad but it’s still been worse [than] had it not happened.”


Unsafe meat. The British Meat Processors Association claim unsafe meat is being allowed into the UK because of a lack of post-Brexit border checks. David Lindars, the association’s Technical Operations Director, said: “We are concerned about the potential spread of African Swine Fever.” ASF has been detected in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa in recent years. Post Brexit import checks are not due to be implemented by the UK government until the end of 2023.


Farming. The UK’s replacement scheme for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) pays land managers for improving nature instead of providing subsidies to farmers to keep them in business,. Last year saw the launch of the sustainable farming incentive (SFI). But, while subsidies were cut by an average of 22% for farmers last year, only 0.44% of the promised budget was spent on SFI, leaving farmers asking where the money is going. This year, the government planning to slash payments by 36%.


Investment. According to Jonathan Haskel, a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, Brexit has wiped out £29bn in business investment and exacerbated the slowdown in UK productivity. Mr Haskel said the lack of business investment growth since the 2016 referendum was equivalent to 1.3 per cent of UK gross domestic product, or about £1,000 per household. He added that penalty would probably rise to about 2.8 per cent of GDP at the end of the BoE’s forecast period in 2026.


Erasmus. The Turing scheme replacement for Britain’s participation in the EU’s Erasmus+ academic exchange scheme, has been ‘plagued’ with delays and red tape according to the FT. James Illingworth, the chair of the year abroad group at the University Council of Modern Languages, said, “Students are waiting very, very late to get funding, and are sometimes still waiting even after they have gone on a placement.” The onerous bureaucracy, payment delays have left young people on the programme stranded without money and excluded poorer students from travel altogether.


Horizon. The UK’s minister for Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan says Britain is ready to “go it alone with our own global-facing alternative” and snub the EU’s £85billion flagship research project Horizon, opting for an international deal with countries like the US, Japan and Switzerland instead. Britain had previously negotiated a contribution of £2.1bn a year to stay in the programme as part of the 2020 Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The EU has been accused of “dragging its feet” on Horizon in an effort to “blackmail” the UK over the Northern Ireland Protocol.


Fintech. A recent survey by researchers at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) of companies in the Financial Technology sector has revealed that since 2018, almost 40% have opened offices outside the UK, the majority in the EU. Dr Franziska Sohns, Associate Professor of Economic Geography at ARU, said: “Our results indicate that the Brexit was a significant push factor for UK FinTech firms anticipating relocation to the EU and, to a lesser extent, also to the US.”


Motorcycle racing. The Motorcycle Union of Ireland has announced that all road racing and short circuit racing in Northern Ireland has been cancelled due to spiralling insurance costs. A statement from Motorcycling Ireland also highlighted Brexit, which Northern Ireland voted against in the 2016 referendum, as a major contributing factor to the bleak situation surrounding insurance costs.


Migrants. A report by Durham University has claimed that Johnson’s Brexit deal is the “primary factor” in the crisis of small boat crossings in the English Channel. Study author Professor Thom Brooks, said: The government used to have a deal on returning migrants, but it ended with Brexit and no alternative was agreed. This made it far more difficult to return any new arrivals, and numbers have skyrocketed after this deal stopped.” The study found there were no recorded small boat crossings until 2018.


Machinery safety. The EU’s new Machinery Regulation, approved in January 2023, extensively revises the 2006 Machinery Directive which has been applicable in the UK since 2008. This is intended to provide a more consistent approach to safety standards across the EU. British manufacturers will now have to decide to whether to follow the more rigorous EU regime or maintain two different standards to allow access to both UK and EU markets.


Skilled workers. According to The Times, a new report estimates that the skills gap in the construction and repairs industry will reach 937,000 by 2032. The UK Trade Skills Index, by Capital Economics on behalf of Checkatrade, suggests Britain faces an “urgent and alarming” shortage of skilled labourers. The issue has been exacerbated by the post-Brexit exodus of European workers and an ageing workforce, one third of whom are over 50 and will likely retire within the next ten years.


EU citizens. Brussels has requested clarification from London after tens of thousands of EU citizens living in the UK were denied the right to remain, leaving them potentially liable to repay welfare benefits. About 141,000 EU citizens suddenly had their online applications updated to a rejection last month by the Home Office. It comes at a sensitive time as the two sides near a deal to resolve a long-running dispute over their post-Brexit trading relationship.


Nissan. Confirming plans for a new electric version of the old Micra to be built at Renault’s ElectriCity manufacturing complex in northern France, Nissan executives admitted high energy costs and an eroding automotive supply chain in Britain were making Nissan Sunderland uncompetitive. CEO Ashwani Gupta described the UK market as challenging and said the company needed “The support of government, because we do not have a big [automotive industry] in the UK.”


Farming. According to The Times, a survey shows 40% of UK farmers are ‘baffled’ by Defra’s post-Brexit vision for the future of farming, the highest level since records started three years ago. In 2019 it was 33 per cent. Farming is undergoing a huge transition from relying on EU-style subsidies to “green Brexit” ones based on improvements for nature, while at the same time being squeezed by higher fertiliser and fuel costs. Groups including the Country Land and Business Association have criticised DEFRA for uncertainty amid the switchover.


Astra Zeneca. Sir Pascal Soriot, CEO of Astra Zeneca, says the drugs group had wanted to build a new “state-of-the-art” plant close to its existing sites in Macclesfield, but instead will make the investment in Ireland “because the [UK] tax rate was discouraging.” Tom Keith-Roach, AZ’s UK president, warned that Britain is losing out on investment from AstraZeneca to more competitive countries, saying the company had not made new research and development capital investments in the UK since 2021 and that its wider R&D spending in the country could also now be at risk


Animations. Makers of Wallace & Grommit and Shaun the Sheep, Aardman Animations, warn they may be forced to move abroad. Managing Director Sean Clarke, said the company is struggling with everything from serious competition from other countries on tax relief to a dire skills shortage. Clarke blamed Brexit for making it harder to bring over European animators and for the loss of access to vital European media funding.


University researchers. Prof Paul Boyle, vice-chancellor of Swansea University and chair of the Universities Wales research and innovation network has told MPs that 1,000 skilled jobs risk being lost because of the withdrawal of EU structural funds. Calling for more UK government investment, Boyle said, “In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, we risk failing to exploit one of this country’s most enduring and internationally recognised strengths.”


Trade war. The Observer claims to have seen letters from EU politicians suggesting plans to scrap all Retained EU laws on environmental protection and workers’ rights risk breaching “level playing field” provisions in the UK-EU post-Brexit trade and cooperation agreement (TCA). In retaliation, EU leaders in the Commission, the European parliament and the council of ministers are preparing what they call “unilateral rebalancing measures” that are said to include the option of imposing tariffs on UK goods entering the EU single market.


University funding. New figures show Cambridge University has seen its funding from a large European research programme plummet from £62m a year to nothing since Brexit. Latest statistics from the EU reveal Cambridge, which netted €483m (£433m) over the seven years of the last European research funding programme, Horizon 2020, has not received any funding in the first two years of the new Horizon Europe programme. Oxford University, which won €523m from the earlier programme, has only been awarded €2m to date from Horizon Europe.


Golf. Donald Trump’s Scottish golf resort Turnberry has claimed that Brexit is hitting its ability to find workers. SLC Turnberry, whose directors are two of Mr Trump’s sons, said the staffing pool had shrunk, “with lack of access to European staff for businesses in general resulting in greater demand for the individuals previously available to the resort”. It said Brexit had also affected its supply chains, meaning there were fewer drivers available, “reducing deliveries and the availability of certain product lines”. SLC Turnberry lost over £4mn in its latest accounts.


Fishing. Mike Park, the chief executive of the Fraserburgh-based Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association, says: “It is costing more and taking longer to get fish into the continent and there are a lot of paper trails required and red tape.” Mr Parkes, who has spoken previously of the opportunities of Brexit also said, “We were the poster boys, we wanted out. But a lot have now reassessed their enthusiasm for Brexit because it has delivered nothing.”


The economy. Deputy governor for monetary policy at the Bank of England, Ben Broadbent says the impact of Brexit on the economy was coming through faster than first expected. He told reporters that “Brexit… has been something that has pulled on our potential output in our country and that’s been our assessment for many years. We’ve not changed our estimate of the long-running effects, but we’ve brought some of them forward and we think they’re probably coming in faster than we first expected.”


Manufacturing. A Shropshire business owner has told the BBC that Brexit has been a ‘complete disaster.‘ Nic Laurens, who runs Severn Diamond Ltd, said Brexit had left his firm facing filling out 24 forms to export goods into the EU. In response, he has moved 90% of his company to the Republic of Ireland. Mr Laurens, a former Conservative councillor, said:” Brexit has [caused] barriers to trade and additional costs that you have to pass on to the consumer. We’ve had to completely rethink our business model.”


Architects: A survey has revealed that nine in ten architecture studios in the UK feel Brexit has had a negative impact on them. Figures from Dezeen research in a survey of 50 studios found that given the choice, 84% of would rejoin the EU if the option was available. Only one studio said it would not, with another 14% indicating they were unsure or do not have a position. Respondents included small studios with 15 or fewer people to larger practices with a hundred or more employees and mega-firms with a global presence.


Freeports: An academic at the University of Essex who has carried out extensive research into freeports around the world says they will be a ‘magnet’ for organised crime and could make it easier for gangsters to import drugs and guns into the UK. Dr Anna Sergi claims that “Freeports have a high risk for criminal exploitation for two reasons – money laundering and illicit trade,” The government’s post-Brexit plans include freeports for Liverpool, Felixstowe, East Midlands Airport, Humber, Plymouth, Solent, Teesside and the Thames.


Foreign investment: The BBC suggest Britain could lose foreign investment as the EU ponder its response to the US Inflation Reduction Act which aims to subsidise companies that plan investment in America. Some in British industry fear an EU-US carve-up, not just over electric cars, but microchips and other critical technologies would raise fundamental strategic questions about Britain’s future in the midst of it all.


Brexit cost: An analysis by Bloomberg Economics three years after Britain left the EU paints a dismal picture of the damage done so far. Brexit they say, is costing the UK economy £100bn a year ($124bn) in lost output, with the effects spanning everything from business investment to the ability of companies to hire workers.


Universities: Figures from The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) figures shows the number of EU students enrolling in British universities has more than halved since Brexit – with sharp declines in scholars from Italy, Germany and France. Brexit is seen as the primary deterrent, with home fees and student finance no longer available to EU students who do not already live in the UK with settled or pre-settled status.


Breeding animals: Zoos say that Breeding schemes for endangered animals such as rhinos and monkeys are being harmed by Brexit red tape. Measures and limitations that have come into place since Britain left the EU have for example slowed down a project to re-inhabit bison into the Kent countryside. Delays have also been felt at London Zoo where an endangered golden lion tamarin had a transfer delayed by 17 months, while a similar length of time passed before Colchester Zoo could receive a vulnerable pileated gibbon.


Benefits of Brexit: Three years after Brexit and six years after the referendum, a survey by pollsters Deltapoll finds that few Brits can name any advantages to leaving the EU, three years after it happened. The data showed ‘very strongly’ that only a small proportion of British adults could actually name any specific benefits of Brexit – either to them personally (just 5%) or to the wider country more generally (10%).

January 2023Bootstrap

UK Car industry. The number of new cars made in the UK fell sharply again last year, sinking to its lowest level since 1956, a 10% fall from 2021. Mike Hawes, chief executive of the trade body the SMMT, said the UK could be in the unenviable position of offering less support to crucial industries than we did before we left the EU. One of the benefits of Brexit was meant to be escaping EU state aid rules which limited the amount of support governments could give to favoured industries.


Trade. Figures from the Department for International Trade (DIT) suggest the UK will be 15 years late in reaching a £1trillion annual export target set by David Cameron. Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Tina McKenzie, blamed trade barriers, including red tape, and insufficient export support that have led to the continued suppression of exports. “Our research shows one in eight small exporters have temporarily or permanently stopped sales to the EU, with a further one in 10 considering doing so,” Ms McKenzie added. OBR figures forecast UK exports will fall next year to just £707bn.


Bicycles. A British bicycle entrepreneur has blamed Brexit for damaging his business, leaving it with a £100,000 hole in revenues. Andrew Lang, founder of Cycloc, said the EU represented 50% of its business before Brexit left it nursing a 25% decline in overall sales. “It is very disappointing. I am a naturally optimistic person, but in a sense it is very difficult to be positive,” Mr Lang said. He accused the government of failing to do enough to mitigate the impact of Brexit on British small exporters.


Financial services. The FT say a report by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) released on Tuesday 24 January, warns that some banks, insurers and asset managers will “struggle” to meet a June deadline for implementation of new consumer protection rules. The report analysed how about 60 of the UK’s biggest financial services groups are gearing up for a coming regulatory shake-up. The new rules require about 60,000 firms in a broad range of categories covering most of the UK financial services to prioritise “good outcomes” for their clients rather than just chasing profits.


Eurostar. Following Brexit, border checks requested by the UK government at London St Pancras International and the continental European stations have become much more time-consuming. This means the first wave of morning trains outbound from London and inbound from continental Europe are capped at 550 passengers – leaving 350 seats, or 39 per cent of capacity, empty. Thousands of seats now go unsold on Eurostar trains every day.


Construction. The UK Trade and Business Commission (UKTBC), an independent body of experts set up to track the impact of Brexit, claims that research shows the cost of materials and labour for construction have increased more steeply in the UK than the EU since the Brexit referendum. Analysis of data indicates that between 2015 and 2022 the cost of construction materials including cement, timber and steel increased by 60% in the UK and the cost of labour by 30%. In the EU the figures were 35% and 14% respectively.


Fishing. A Brixham fish merchant met Boris Johnson in August 2019, a month after he became PM and was told that Brexit would bring “huge benefits. Ian Perkes said Johnson promised that when the Brexit rules came in in January 2021, he could look forward to a very, very prosperous future. Three-and-a-half years later Mr Perkes’ revenue is 30 per cent down. After 45 years he is now having to contemplate giving up entirely on exports – which accounted for 85 per cent of his pre-Brexit sales – and axing up to a dozen of his 15 staff.


British Volt. Former Conservative leader William Hague has said that Brexit is to blame for the collapse of the British electric car battery start-up company Britishvolt causing hundreds of job losses. Lord Hague said the failure of the company was “part of the damage” of the UK’s exit from the EU. Britishvolt made the majority of its 300 staff redundant on Wednesday after appointing administrators when it failed to raise enough funding.


Kent Border post. More than six months after completion, the Sevington inland border facility in Kent, built at a cost of £100m, remains unused behind a 12ft perimeter fence. The only imports being inspected are a few pets from Ukraine. The project has been labelled by local people as the great white elephant of Brexit.


Levelling up. Various locations in Kent are set to receive a share of a multi-billion pound government fund with £45 million going to easing post-Brexit traffic at Dover. The money has been allocated for Dover to improve the flow of traffic from the UK to the EU – with more border control points and a new exit route to help the port operate more efficiently and reduce congestion on local roads.


Investors. Britain is fast losing its reputation as a hub for wealthy investors and business people, as a further 1,400 high-net-worth individuals, defined as those with wealth in excess of $1 million, left Britain in 2022, according to data from Henley & Partners, the citizenship advisory firm. The exodus continues a trend that began shortly after the Brexit vote in 2016, since when an estimated 12,000 millionaires have deserted the UK for pastures new. Among them will be dozens of well-paid bankers, who have been forced by employers to relocate around Europe in the wake of Brexit.


Bankers. Milan has become a popular landing spot for finance workers leaving London in the wake of Brexit, according to Bloomberg. The market for luxury flats is booming as bankers, fund managers and private equity investors flock to Italy’s financial capital. Thousands of foreigners and Italian nationals have relocated to the country since the government started granting generous tax breaks in 2017 to lure new arrivals.


Gibraltar. Gibraltarians are said to be living in “distress and anxiety” in a Brexit-time warp as Spain and the UK edge towards a deal over the future of the Rock after two years of talks. George Dyke, president of the Cross Frontier Group, which is composed of businesses and unions on both sides of the border, said people were anxious for a deal. Mr Dyke said, “Everyone is worried about whether they are going to be able to cope after a deal is done. The anxiety of not knowing what is going to happen just adds to our distress. It has been going on for two years now. For many people, their livelihoods depend on the outcome of this deal.”


Labour shortages. According to the FT, research by the UK in a Changing Europe and the Centre for European Reform think-tanks shows the post-Brexit UK economy is facing a shortfall of more than 300,000 workers as a result of ending free movement of labour with the EU. The assessment indicates that the ending of FoM was constricting the UK economy and “contributing significantly” to labour shortages in lower-skilled sectors, including logistics, construction and hospitality.


Cultural exchange. Workaway, a cultural exchange website which encourage exchanges between budget travellers and people learning languages has advised its members that it is “pausing a large portion” of UK host listings until further notice. The email went on to say that; “As regulations around travel and working visas have become much stricter post Brexit, especially for Europeans, it’s become unfeasible to continue listing exchanges in the UK.”


The economy. Figures calculated by Economics for the Environment Consultancy (Eftec) indicate that removing or watering down retained EU laws, as proposed by the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill, could cost the UK economy almost £83bn over 30 years in just four policy areas. Commissioned by the Wildlife and Countryside Link, the research investigated the economic implications of weakening or removing environmental retained EU laws covering chemical regulation, water pollution, air quality, and habitats.


Medicines. Paul Williams, senior director corporate of Teva UK, a global biopharmaceuticals company with an operation in Runcorn, has told a Lords committee that because the EU no longer accepts batch testing of medicines in the UK, products destined for Northern Ireland now have to be sent to Germany for testing before being shipped to the province. Mr Williams said, “until Brexit that factory would make products in Cheshire tested in Cheshire.”


Tax revenues. Potentially billions of pounds in tax have been lost because HMRC diverted a significant part of its workforce staff to focus on Brexit. Responding to ministerial questions, Treasury minister Victoria Atkins said 1,040 tax compliance officers, who would usually investigate tax dodging and non-compliance, were redeployed in 2021-22 to work on matters specifically relating to Brexit. The amount of tax revenue recovered through compliance work was £30.8 billion in 2021-22, down £6 billion from 2019-20, Ms Atkins said.


Competitiveness. According to survey carried out by Make UK (formerly the Engineering Employers Federation) among its members: “The number of companies believing the UK to be a competitive location has halved from last year, down to 31 per cent from 63 per cent. Over four in ten companies, 43 per cent, believe the UK is now less attractive to foreign investors, while more than half of companies, 53 per cent, believe that political instability is damaging business confidence.”


Dentists. A Norfolk dental surgery has put its recent struggles down to the impact of Brexit, the coronavirus pandemic and the government changing how NHS dentists are paid. Beech House, based in Dereham, said it had been trying to recruit an NHS dentist for the past two years “without success.” An email sent to patients said: “Many dentists that fell into the European bracket had to hand back their NHS provider number when we left the EU, taking a big chunk of qualified NHS dentists with it.


Charitable sector. Charities based in Jersey say that Brexit has created an “absolute nightmare” of extra costs and added paperwork. Two aid workers fear this means they’ll have to scale back – or even stop – taking donations abroad. Leaving the EU means extra paperwork and checks for the goods a team takes by van across the Romanian border. Rose Pallot, founder of the charity Mustard Seed Jersey said: “I hope we can continue to send aid to Romania but at the moment we’re struggling with the logistics of it and the paperwork that is required.”


Seasonal workers. A European chalet business owner has spoken of how complicated it has become to recruit people from the UK to work in the Alps. Jana, from Montagne & Tradition in Les Gets, Haute-Savoie, says she has managed it this year but it has been expensive. She gave up completely in 2020-21 and has heard others locally saying they will now stick to recruiting EU citizens. Jana said it is easier to recruit from Australia and New Zealand, which have deals in place on seasonal work.


The NHS. NHS trusts in England have increased recruitment from low-income “red list” countries to make up for the post-Brexit loss of EU staff, despite a code of practice to safeguard health services in those developing countries. A report by the Nuffield Trust think-tank also identified shortages in vital specialist areas since Brexit, including dentistry, cardiothoracic surgery and anaesthesiology.It found that Brexit is still causing issues with the supply of medicines in Northern Ireland despite a change in the arrangements put in place by the EU last April.


UK citizens in the EU. Eurostat data shows a total of 2,285 UK nationals were expelled between 1 January 2021, when British citizens lost their free movement rights, and September last year. Not all expulsions may have been related to residency rules, but Prof Michaela Benson of Lancaster University, who has co-led several research projects on post-Brexit migration, citizenship and identity said, “British citizens are now third-country nationals in the EU and those who are not covered by the withdrawal agreement are subject to domestic immigration laws.”

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Waiters. A London restaurateur has told The New York Times of the difficulties in recruiting kitchen staff and waiters for his three Italian restaurants after Brexit. Jordan Frieda, who worked briefly under the celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, said: “It’s worse than Covid, worse than energy costs. It’s been the most traumatic event of my career in restaurants. It has been an absolutely devastating, transformative event.”


Biotech. A York-based bio-tech start up, Aptamer Group,  has said that their biggest challenge is recruiting the right calibre graduates. COO Alastair Fleming said: “Hiring is difficult, even bringing in basic scientists. Brexit has affected us as well. We normally expect more Europeans.” Britain’s departure from the EU has created more paperwork, and waiting times of about six months for a work visa.


The economy. Brexit has “hobbled the UK economy, according to CNN. Britain remains the only member of the G7 — the group of advanced economies that also includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States — with an economy smaller than it was before the pandemic. Uncertainty has damaged business investment, which in the third quarter was 8% below pre-pandemic levels despite a UK-EU trade deal being in place for nearly two years.


The economy. A new report from the Lords Economic Affairs Committee says Brexit and Covid have led to an exodus of 500,000 from the UK workforce putting the economy at risk. The committee warned that the labour outlook for the UK was “bleak” and said Brexit had also added to an acute shortage of workers in some industries – including hospitality, agriculture and care, according to the Lords’ economic affairs committee.


Coastal ports. Latest figures from the British Ports Association show that in the 12 months to the end of September volumes going through the top 50 ports were down by 24 million tonnes from the pre-pandemic period in 2018-19. More than two thirds of the ports reported declines on pre-Covid levels. The biggest loser was Dover, the country’s largest roll-on/roll-off terminal for lorry freight, with volumes down by 21 per cent. The association’s report states: “The recovery of RoRo freight volume after the pandemic has been slower and reflects in part the impact of Brexit on some supply chains.”


Charities. An analysis of government funding intended to replace EU support, shows delays have forced hundreds of voluntary organisations to shut up shop or scale back their operations, The Guardian has learned, as the consequences of Brexit continue to ripple out across the UK. Matthew Brown, director of operations at The Wales Council of Voluntary Action (WCVA), a national umbrella organisation involving many charities that relied on money from the EU social fund, said: “We’re all having to lay off staff because the UK SPF has not come in on time.”


Cannabis Oil. Voyager, a Perth-based manufacturer of oils and soaps made with cannabidiol, has been forced to purchase a £1.5 million plant in Poland to serve European customers to avoid extended delivery times and the costs of customs charges after Brexit. Founder Nick Tulloch said: “Going forward our product can now be manufactured in Poland and distributed across the European Union’s single market.”


Government Cars. The government’s fleet of armoured ministerial cars will be made by Audi in Germany because supply chain issues hampered by Brexit mean no British manufacturer is able to meet its requirements, according to The Independent. The Metropolitan Police had announced this summer it is ditching armoured Jaguar XJs for Audi A8s assembled in Baden-Württemberg. But it has now been revealed that the decision was made because no British car maker was “able to meet the requirements of the tender.”


The economy. Analysis by the Centre for European Reform (CER) suggests that Brexit is costing the UK government £40 bn a year in lost tax revenue. The study claims that Brexit had reduced Britain’s GDP by 5.5% by the second quarter of 2022. In the three months to June, economic output was £33 billion lower than it would have been had the UK voted to stay in the EU, costing the government around £12 billion in lost tax revenues, or around £40 bn for the whole year.


The environment. Documents published by the environment agency on Thursday show the target date for cleaning up the majority of England’s rivers, lakes and coastal waters suffering from a cocktail of agricultural and sewage pollution has been pushed back from 2027 to 2063. Until Brexit the UK government was signed up to the EU water framework directive, which required countries to make sure all their waters achieved “good” chemical and ecological status by 2027 at the latest.


Industry. A survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) shows that more than half (56%) of BCC members surveyed who trade with the EU said they had experienced problems complying with new rules for exporting goods, while 45% reported issues trading in services. Overall, as many as 77% of firms trading under the deal said it had not helped them to increase sales or expand. DG Shevaun Haviland, said: “The longer the current problems go unchecked, the more EU traders go elsewhere, and the more damage is done.”


EU citizens. The UK government’s scheme to settle millions of EU citizens risks creating illegal migrants overnight and is unlawful, the High Court has ruled. The court said the scheme breached the UK’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. The Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA), had argued that ministers were breaking the legal promises given to the EU and huge numbers of people could become illegal immigrants overnight if they didn’t apply for the second stage on time.


Tourism: The number of visitors arriving at a UK port from France has more than halved after Brexit, according to Brittany Ferries. Portsmouth saw 338,000 arrivals in 2019 but only 155,000 in 2022. The firm said “Brexit-related friction” including a need for passports was a major factor. Sailings to and from Ireland, within the European Union, had seen business increase.


NHS: A study by the Nuffield Trust warns that Brexit is damaging the NHS and increasing pressure on overstretched services. The new report claims that Britain’s departure from the EU has worsened recruitment shortages while pushing up the price of some medicines and making some more difficult to obtain. Mark Dayan, Brexit programme lead at the Nuffield Trust, said, “the effects of Brexit appear to have added to the severe challenges and problems the NHS currently faces”.


Christmas markets: The number of businesses at Christmas markets in Britain has slumped by more than a fifth since Brexit, according to local authority figures obtained by Best for Britain and published in The Independent. UK capitals saw some of the steepest downturns. London’s West End reported the largest decline, collapsing from 247 businesses trading in 2019 to just 119 this year. Best for Britain said it was clear that post-Brexit red tape was a major “deterrent” to seasonal traders coming from EU countries.


Customs. The chief executive of An Post in Ireland, in a letter to the FT, claims the UK Post Office is failing to implement required procedures for small items exported to the EU. David McRedmond says trade from Britain to Ireland sent through post channels has fallen by 52% in one year. An Post is having to return thousands of items to UK suppliers which fail customs checks. The impact is falling mainly on small businesses.


Travel industry. Mark Tanzer, chief executive of travel trade organisation ABTA, said plans to “sunset” thousands of EU laws retained after Brexit could “destabilise the travel industry.” The effect of removing consumer protections could be “profound,” he warned. The dilution of denied boarding compensation is one area of potential consumer detriment, but more profound is the possible removal of consumer protections provided by the Package Travel Regulations (PTRs),” Mr Tanzer said.


Farming. The deputy president of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), says that “uncertainty” over the details of the replacement of the EU subsidy scheme is “crippling businesses”. Tom Bradshaw said, “If we get this wrong, what is going to happen to food production across the country? It will undermine the profitability of businesses, and their viability and ability to produce food. At a time of global challenge, we simply cannot afford that.”


EU citizens. In Limbo, a grassroots project to give a voice to 3.6 mn EU citizens living in the UK, reports on a German citizen resident in Scotland who, returning from a 3-day trip to France, was denied boarding at Paris airport by Easyjet acting on instructions from the UK Home Office. After taking a bus to Calais to meet the UK immigration officials, he was first detained and fingerprinted before it was found to be a case of mistaken identity.


Immigration. Employers are at ‘real risk’ of failing to attract skilled staff from overseas. A survey of more than 5,000 executives from 63 countries for the IMD’s annual World Talent Ranking reveals that the UK has fallen to 28th place as favourable destination for international professionals, due to the fallout from Brexit and recent political turmoil, concerns about the quality of life and the state of the education system.


Trade. The UK risks being ‘squeezed’ in a protectionist world according to the FT. President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act contains provisions to spend $369 billion on subsidies and tax breaks promoting green technology. This will not be open to non US companies and is being seen as a move towards the US adopting policies protecting and promoting their own industries to the detriment of imports. The EU is also said to be examining the possibility loosening its own state aid rules allowing it to pump more money green industry leaving the UK to miss out.


Manufacturing. D S Smith, a UK based manufacturer of cardboard packaging, is to close a plant in Aylesford, Kent while increasing investment in the EU. The decision was “very regrettable”, CEO Miles Roberts said, but the company had to “respond to the demand that’s there”. He added, that the group’s international business could not continue to subsidise UK operations and that it would be “extremely helpful” for manufacturers if the government aligned regulations “wherever possible” with EU rules to ease trade.


Drugs. The Scottish Daily Record claims that the drug Lecanemab, said to be a new wonder pill which can slow down Alzheimer’s disease, could take several years be approved for use in the UK. Dr Emma Law of the Scottish Dementia Clinical Research network warned: “Brexit will hold it back. It will first of all go to America with the FDA and then it will go to Europe. And only then it will come to the UK.” Existing trade deals between the EU and US could see the drug fast-tracked for use in the rest of Europe.


Automotive industry. According to the FT, UK Carmakers are warning that the prices of many electric vehicles made or sold in the UK and Europe could jump 10 per cent or more from 2024 after Brussels said it would not extend tariff exemptions agreed in the Brexit trade deal. The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) temporarily exempted EVs from rules stating that products must be substantially made in Britain or the bloc to qualify for the EU’s zero tariff, zero quota regime because such a large proportion of EV batteries are imported from Asia.


The economy. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has told the government that business investment has effectively stagnated since the Brexit vote in 2016. The trade organisation representing 190,000 businesses has called on ministers to “unlock” business investment through inter alia a more flexible immigration system and updating the national planning policy framework to ease restrictions around the use of land for development.


Meat. A Wishaw based butcher, Andrew Duff, claims it is now easier to export to Hong Kong than it is to Europe. Mr Duff said his EU business was now economically unviable. “When we did an entire costing I would have to put an extra £1000 onto the bill due to all the additional admin and red tape. When you’re a small SME and you’re not sending out 4-5 pallets, maybe one pallet of maybe 500kg of very specialist meat, putting £1000 onto that means it’s impossible,” he said.


Clearing. Under draft proposals issued by the EU Commission on Wednesday (7 Dec), financial firms will be required to clear a proportion of “systemic” derivatives via active accounts in EU clearing houses. The minimum requirement will be set by the EU regulator, the European Securities and Markets Authority, one year after the law is adopted. An EU official said the legislation meant it was “less likely” that the commission would extend a temporary deal that allows London’s clearing houses to continue serving customers in the bloc. See also 797, 502 and 267.


Industry. A majority of 938 companies surveyed by the British Chambers of Commerce could not name a single EU law that they would change or remove to become more profitable, according to The New Statesman. Just 14 per cent specified an EU regulation they would remove; 58 per cent of firms had no preference over the amendment or removal of any EU regulation. Half said that deregulation is either a low priority or not a priority at all.


Food prices. Research by the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at the LSE studied trade flows and consumer prices for food products in the UK to identify the transfer of the cost of Brexit red tape to householders. It found that leaving the EU has “increased the price of food products by 3% a year, leading to a 6% increase over a two-year period.” The CEP found that Brexit-induced price rises added £5.84bn cost to the food market alone, equating to £210 per household.


Skills shortage. The Bank of England’s chief economist says Brexit has contributed to a skills shortage that is driving the economy’s weak performance compared with other countries. Huw Pill, speaking to the Institute of Chartered Accountants, said that it was not yet clear whether the record numbers of migrants from non-EU countries were as productive as those from the EU who had been lost since Brexit. “Some of the skills shortages were being met by the inflow, on a relatively flexible basis, of [EU] workers and that has changed and disappeared,” Mr Pill said.


Legal actions. A report by the pro-Brexit group Campaign for an Independent Britain (CIB) claims the EU have initiated legal proceedings sixteen times since the UK exited the EU on 31 January 2020. The CIB are critical of the Withdrawal Agreement and say, “The simple fact is that the United Kingdom is still subject to EU law.” These form part of the 27 active ‘infringement cases’ which the EU Commission is pursuing against the United Kingdom, 11 of which started before we left.

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Doctors. According to an analysis by the Nuffield Trust health think-tank, Brexit has worsened the UK’s acute shortage of doctors in key areas of care and led to more than 4,000 European doctors choosing not to work in the NHS. The disclosure in The Guardian shows the UK has 4,285 fewer European doctors than if the rising numbers coming before the Brexit vote in 2016 had been maintained. Official figures show the NHS in England alone has vacancies for 10,582 physicians.


The economy. Six years on, Brexit is still proving the biggest headache for British businesses, according to a survey by Ivalua reported by Bloomberg. Brexit ranks even higher than Russia’s war in Ukraine, Covid or rising energy costs. Almost a third of businesses said they had lost revenue as a result of the disruptions, estimating an average drop of around 18%, and around two thirds said they had either been fined or suffered reputational damage as a result of goods arriving late.


Trade. Researchers, from the Centre for Business Prosperity at Aston University have found that more than 40 percent of British products previously exported to the EU have disappeared from European shelves since Brexit. They warned that new bureaucracy was putting off exporters on a grand scale and described their findings as “bleak.” Small businesses were the least likely to be able to deal with the government’s new red tape and to be most likely to simply give up selling abroad.


Ex pats. A large number of British nationals settled in Denmark under EU rules in 2020 may not have received a reminder from Danish authorities to update their residence status ahead of a Brexit deadline at the end of December 2021, meaning many missed the deadline and could face having to leave the country.


Vegetables. Vegetables are being left to rot in fields due to ‘chronic’ crop picker and driver shortages according to The Daily Mail. A recruitment company which specialises in hiring food service supervisory and management roles, said government restrictions on foreign workers are to blame and is urging UK officials to let in ten times more foreign workers to solve the crisis. Guy Moreton, CEO of MorePeople said: “We need five to ten times as many people as the Government is letting in at the moment.”


EU laws. A letter to business secretary Grant Shapps signed by various trade bodies and the TUC has said sweeping away thousands of pieces of EU legislation and legal principles would “cause significant confusion and disruption for businesses, working people and those seeking to protect the environment”. The groups are concerned about the loss of “vital” worker, consumer and environmental rights, including those regarding holiday pay, safe working hours and protection from discrimination.


Butchers. Hull based meat producer Cranswick, is flying 400 butchers more than 6,000 miles from the Philippines to avert a Christmas shutdown after an exodus of staff following Brexit. The company is spending £4 million to recruit the butchers to alleviate labour shortages. Last year, a staffing crisis hampered production and left Cranswick with 25 per cent fewer staff at its plants in Hull and Norfolk.


Trade. Figures released by the Department for International Trade show that the free trade deal signed with Japan has resulted in a fall in exports since it came into force. Liz Truss signed the “historic” deal with Japan as trade secretary in October 2020, describing it as a “landmark moment for Britain”. In the year to June 2022 exports to Japan fell from £12.3bn to £11.9bn. Exports in goods fell 4.9% to £6.1bn and services fell 2% to £5.8bn.


Delicatessens: A Greek deli, The Isle of Olive in Hackney, said to be the best in London, is to close after 11 years. The owners blame a multitude of reasons but say “certainly Brexit is sitting right there at the top“. With reams of paperwork and with many small artisan producers across Greece refusing to export to the UK, it became difficult to source unique products and sell at reasonable prices.


Fishing: UK Fisheries confirmed last week that its 40m stern trawler Farnella will cease operations at the end of the year, after 22 years. The company cite a lack of quota opportunity and a ‘complete lack of support’ from UK authorities. The vessel was designed to work in the distant waters around Iceland, Faroes, and Norway. With the loss of access after Brexit the vessel was forced closer to home but has now become uneconomic.


Airports: The CEO of the company that owns Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports, said problems with recruitment were making the UK less competitive. Charlie Cornish, speaking at the Airlines 2022 conference in London, said: “There’s no doubt that Brexit has damaged the UK economy, 99% of leading economists would tell you that. You just have to look at the rate of growth now, and that’s significant.”


Economy: Former Brexit secretary David Davis has admitted that Brexit has failed to deliver any notable economic benefits, more than six years after the vote to leave the EU. Davis, a key figure in the campaign to leave the EU and heavily involved in the negotiations that followed blamed Covid for the absence of any gains from the upheaval. Asked if, amid growing calls for a change of course, he accepted that we haven’t seen any economic benefit for having left the EU, Davis replied: “No major ones.”


Economy. Following the chancellor’s budget statement, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) now say “rising prices [will] erode real wages and reduce living standards by 7 per cent in total over the two financial years to 2023-24 (wiping out the previous eight years’ growth), despite over £100 billion of additional government support.” Their trade forecast reflects the OBR’s assumption that Brexit will reduce the UK’s trade intensity by 15 per cent in the long run.


Economy. A member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee has told MPs that Brexit has added 6 per cent to UK food prices. Dr Swati Dhingra also said British workers had taken a 2 per cent real terms cut in their wages due to the UK’s departure from the EU. Dr Dhingra appeared together with governor Andrew Bailey before the Treasury Select committee.


Trade deals. Former DEFRA secretary George Eustice has told MPS that the trade deal recently signed with Australia is “not actually a very good trade deal for the UK.” He claimed Britain went into the negotiation holding the strongest hand, the best cards but “overall the truth of the matter is that the UK gave away far too much for far too little in return.” For example, the UK gave both Australia and New Zealand full liberalisation in beef and lamb, while Australia maintains an absolute export ban for British beef.


Cheese. A British cheesemaker has been forced to sell his business to a larger rival to regain access to customers on the continent after Brexit saw a loss of £600,000 in EU sales. Simon Spurrell, MD of Macclesfield-based Cheshire Cheese Company, retains a stake in the business he sold to Joseph Heler Cheese, which has maintained a presence in the EU as a result of its larger operations and distribution hub in the Netherlands.


Fishing The MP for Gordon, Richard Thompson (SNP) has highlighted a report from an all-party parliamentary group on the UK Fishing industry which found “unwelcome detrimental impacts on livelihoods” as a result of Brexit. The report said that Brexit left the fishing industry and the wider seafood sector “crying foul in the wake of unexpected and unwelcome detrimental impacts on livelihoods, business turnover, labour, exports and access to fishing areas and quota”.


Exports. Bloomberg report that Brexit red tape is continuing to stifle exports despite years of preparations with 80% of UK firms saying they are struggling to trade with the EU. Fortnum & Mason, the upmarket department store in Piccadilly, London has been unable to send goods to most EU nations since at least January as a “temporary” suspension of exports into Europe has turned into a months-long withdrawal for the 315-year-old retailer.


Paperwork: A British man working in Denmark has been told to leave the country, his job and his fiancee after he was four days late submitting an application to stay there post-Brexit. The 47-year-old financial services administrator received his first removal order in May and was devastated to learn it was because he was four days late with new residency documentation that he did not realise he needed post-Brexit.


Northern Ireland: Hundreds of people from Northern Ireland, including members of the Orange Order, have applied to give up their British citizenship over the last decade. From 2012, anyone applying to bring a foreign-born spouse to live in the UK had to prove they earned at least £18,600 (€21,230) a year. But, under EU regulations Irish citizens living in the North can bring in a spouse or relative without a minimum income requirement or a costly application process.


Stock market: London’s stock exchange has lost its European crown to Paris as economic growth concerns weigh on UK assets. The French capital has taken the top spot after the combined market capitalisation of its major share exchanges, part of the pan-European Euronext project, overtook those of London. Bloomberg, who compiled the figures, say the market capitalisation gap has been narrowing from about $1.5tn since the Brexit vote in 2016.


Product certification: Business Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that UK companies will get an additional two years to apply for the new UKCA product safety marking. In an explicit recognition that using the UKCA mark will increase the burden on British firms, the government say that delaying its introduction “will cut costs for business” and remove potential disruption.


The economy: A Former member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee has told Bloomberg TV that leaving EU has “permanently damaged” the UK economy. Michael Saunders said: “It’s reduced the economy’s potential output significantly, eroded business investment”, adding: “If we hadn’t had Brexit, we probably wouldn’t be talking about an austerity budget this week.”


Paperwork: A German biophysicist and his Indian neurophysicist wife living in the UK with settled status decided to have their first child in India in July. After quickly obtaining a birth certificate and German passport, they were forced to wait 12 weeks for a UK family entry permit to arrive and had to return to London, leaving the baby with her grandmother in Kolkata, a decision they described as “incredibly hard”.


Research: Britain’s plan to become a post-Brexit “science and technology superpower” has suffered a significant setback after a fall in research and development investment of almost a fifth since 2014, according to a report. The Institute for Public Policy Research said the UK’s share of global investment in R&D projects – including in health and life sciences – had fallen sharply from 4.2% eight years ago to 3.4% in 2019 immediately before the Covid pandemic struck.


Irish border: The Home Office intends to begin rolling out a ‘Permission to Travel’ scheme from January 2023. UK Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick has confirmed non-Irish EU citizens will have to provide biometric data to enter the UK, including those entering Northern Ireland from Ireland. The move will be introduced under the controversial Nationality and Borders Act due to be put in place next year.


Seasonal workers: Fruit pickers recruited from Nepal hired to pick fruit on British farms are being sent home only weeks after they arrived under the seasonal workers scheme. Less than two months after arriving, they were told they were no longer needed and instructed to book flights home leaving them thousands of pounds in debt after borrowing money to cover flights and fees to third-party job brokers. They also face steep airline charges to rearrange return journeys.


Car manufacturing: Britain’s electric car ‘revolution’ looks set to lose out to European rivals as Britishvolt, the electric car battery start-up, teeters on the brink of collapse after failing to raise funds. UK car production has halved with just one in ten cars purchased in Britain last year being made here, according to The Telegraph. The paper blames the decline partly on a “lack of investment caused by years of uncertainty about a Brexit deal”.


Labour shortages: The head of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called for urgent action to bolster the economy, including allowing more overseas workers into Britain as employers struggle with a desperate lack of staff. Tony Danker, the CBI’s director general, said the government needed to “tackle the real barriers we face right now”.


Irish passports: Figures obtained by the Irish Times have revealed that the number of Britons applying for Irish passports has skyrocketed by over 1,200% since 2016. Ireland has issued one million passports, making up almost a fifth of its 5.1 million population. According to Dublin, more than 620,000 applicants were based in GB. So far this year 100,526 have been granted an Irish passport, with applications from Northern Ireland having now overtaken those submitted to London.


Restaurants: The price of a meal at the UK’s best restaurants has more than doubled since Brexit from £100 a head to more than £200, according to Harden’s Restaurant Guide. The latest edition claims Brexit poses an existential threat to the restaurant business, partly because of rising food prices, but mainly because of the extra cost of hiring staff. Peter Harden said: “Brexit has been absolutely disastrous for the trade.”


The economy: Shevaun Haviland, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce has said the government should cut post-Brexit paperwork for exporters and simplify tax rules via new agreements with the EU as a cost-free ways to help struggling British companies. Ms Haviland added that there was “no evidence” yet of a dividend for the UK from leaving the bloc.


Football: According to research by football consultancy Analytics FC and law firm Fragomen and shared with City A.M. and due to be published this week, Brexit has drastically shrunk the pool of footballers available to English clubs without having any clear benefit to the prospects of home-grown talent in the Premier League.


The chair of the Commission for Welsh-speaking Communities has said the “anglicisation” of Welsh speaking villages and towns caused by newcomers snapping up homes after Covid, together with the economic stress of Brexit and the cost-of-living crisis, is pushing the Welsh language to a “tipping point”. Simon Brooks warned that unless action is taken there is a danger that Welsh as a community language could soon be lost in some of its traditional heartlands.


The economy: Following the news that the UK economy shrank by 0.2% in the three months to September, the British Chambers of Commerce’s head of research says Europe remains a major export destination and Brexit has introduced barriers to trade that did not exist before 2021. He added: “Businesses need to see a long-term economic plan that invests in people, skills, and infrastructure and radically improves our trading relationships with key markets, not least across Europe.”


Food safety: An article in New Food Magazine raises concerns about food safety in the UK after reductions in funding for environmental health officers and the Food Standards Agency. With only a few exceptions, they say, firms in the UK food industry don’t want de-regulation or a ‘bonfire of red tape’. They see prevailing standards as indispensable to maintaining public trust in the safety and authenticity of their products and claim the instant UK ministers start cutting domestic food standards, “access to the EU for UK food exports will cease”.


Labour market: Lord Wolfson, CEO of the fashion retailer Next and keen Brexiter has said the UK’s current immigration policy is crippling economic growth. The peer said: “We have got people queuing up to come to this country to pick crops that are rotting in fields, to work in warehouses that otherwise wouldn’t be operable, and we’re not letting them in. And we have to take a different approach to economically productive migration.”


Horizon: The UK’s Europe minister Leo Docherty has called on the EU to reopen British access to EU scientific programmes like Horizon. After meeting with EU representatives at the Parliamentary Partnership Assembly, he said: “We will all benefit from the UK’s participation and it brings no conceivable disadvantage to the EU or its member states but the EU has politicised scientific cooperation by linking it with the Northern Ireland Protocol.”


Cost of living crisis. Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England has suggested Brexit has added to the UK’s economic woes by lowering the value of the pound and contributing to price rises. Mr Carney told the BBC the fall in the pound and shrinking economy after the UK left the EU had added to “inflationary pressure”and had “slowed the pace at which the economy can grow”.


Gallileo. The House of Commons science and technology committee have said the government’s failure to obtain guaranteed access to satellite navigation systems essential to defence and critical infrastructure risks endangering national security. The cross-party group of MPs criticised the government for not developing “resilient” alternative positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) systems after losing full access to the EU’s Galileo, which the UK helped fund and build, because of Brexit.


NHS. Kemi Badenoch, the new trade secretary, has denied claims the NHS could be set to pay higher costs for drugs as a result of a UK-India trade deal. A leaked chapter of the free trade agreement (FTA) between UK and India contains provisions that suggests pharmaceutical companies would be able to extend their monopolies and keep prices artificially high for years beyond the original 20-year patent term, preventing the manufacture of lower-priced generic versions.


The Channel Islands. A Jersey senator, Philip Ozouf, has claimed that French visitor numbers have dropped ‘off a cliff edge’ after Brexit as the reintroduction of passport requirements followed Britain’s exit from the EU. Previously, tourists from France could enter Jersey using an ID card. Discussions are taking place between Jersey and France to find a solution.


Motor racing. The chairman of Prodrive, Dave Richards, a builder and racer of rally cars says. “For the motorsport industry [Brexit’s] been a disaster on a number of fronts, with the extra workload that’s required.” His comments came as he waited for his racing team to return from a rally in Spain. “They haven’t got back yet because they’re still sorting out all the paperwork to bring the cars back into the UK,” he explained.


Tourism. Brittany Ferries has seen a huge fall in the number of people travelling between Plymouth and France with Brexit being blamed. The cross Channel operator, which has its UK headquarters in Plymouth, is carrying more than 100,000 fewer people between Millbay and Roscoff compared with pre-pandemic. The company blame the post-Brexit imposition of passports for French passengers visiting the UK Brexit has also been blamed for a drop in freight traffic between the UK and Europe.


Science. UK scientists have been told they can no longer take part in meetings organised by a key EU infectious diseases agency due to Brexit tensions, according to The National in Scotland. An infectious disease expert has been advised that his invitation to two meetings by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has been cancelled. Martin McKee, professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “This is a recognition that Brexit has consequences, and the form of Brexit the UK has chosen has more severe consequences than were necessary.”


Battery plant. Britishvolt, the UK government-backed battery startup is close to entering administration with the potential loss of almost 300 jobs, after it was unable to find investors willing to fund its giant £3.8bn “gigafactory” in Blyth. Professor Chris Grey pointed out on Twitter that the decision may have important repercussions since from 2027 UK made electric vehicles sold in the EU will need to comply with stringent Rules of Origin, which may not be possible without Britishvolt.


Farming. UK meat industry lobby groups are warning that a new post-Brexit regulation will have a “devastating effect” on producers and their ability to export to the EU, according to the FT. From December 13 the UK Department for Agriculture will require tens of thousands of farmers to obtain formal attestations from qualified vets about the health of their animals earmarked for slaughter and export. The new regulation is a significant shift from present rules which require farmers only to certify that vet visits have taken place.


Trade. New export figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for April to June 2022 show UK exports have collapsed to the EU Big Four of Germany, France, Italy and Spain. The international delivery service ParcelHero says exports to the vital markets of the USA and China slumped as well. David Jinks, says: ‘these latest results reveal Britain failed to successfully transition away from the EU to other lucrative overseas markets – one of the positive outcomes promised by Brexiteers. Looking at two vital export markets beyond the EU, the numbers also tumbled.’


Trade. The Herald in Scotland reports that Scottish exports to the EU have slumped by over £2.2bn since Brexit. HMRC data, seen by the Herald show that the value of Scotland’s exports has slumped from £16.741bn in 2019, the year before the UK exited the EU to £14.528bn in 2021 – a drop of over 13% in two years, reversing a trend that had seen Scotland’s exports to EU countries rise by £420m between 2018 and 2019.


Citizens rights. The British government has been accused of breaching the withdrawal agreement by requiring EU citizens to reapply for the right to live and work in the United Kingdom, an independent body set up to oversee citizens’ rights told a London court on Tuesday. The Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA) says the Home Office’s post-Brexit settlement scheme unlawfully requires up to 2.6 million EU citizens to make a second application after being allowed to remain in the UK or lose their rights of residence.


The City. London’s share of global foreign exchange and derivatives trading is falling and under threat for the first time since Brexit. According to new findings published exclusively by City A.M, a study by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) found that while London accounted for 43% of global FX trading in 2019, it now accounts for 38 per cent. Over-the-counter derivatives markets, saw its share slip to 46 per cent, down from 51 per cent three years ago with Singapore and New York gaining ground.


Farming. According to The Guardian, farmers may miss out on thousands of pounds after government chaos over the post-Brexit nature-friendly farming schemes, developed to replace the EU’s old subsidy system which paid according how much land they managed, caused them not to apply. Long delays over implementing the schemes – first proposed by Michael Gove when he was environment secretary in 2018, but delayed many times since then – has fuelled anxiety that they might be diluted or dropped altogether.


Labour shortages. Celebrity chef Jason Atherton says the Government has made recruitment a “bureaucratic nightmare” since Brexit. Mr Atherton has warned in The Evening Standard that he will have to start closing thriving restaurants in the new year because it has become impossible to recruit staff. The celebrity restaurateur said he has 350 unfilled vacancies — representing about a third of his workforce — and faces having to make “heartbreaking” decisions as a result of the unprecedented shortfall with January being “crunch time.”

October 2022Bootstrap

Trade: One in five small UK exporters are unable to trade with the EU because of barriers created by Brexit, according to a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). The survey also revealed that businesses are in the dark about promised new trade deals with the rest of the world – despite ministers claiming that these are a priority. The group is calling for action to cut customs delays and reduce other barriers to trade, and to make it easier to recruit much-needed workers.


Labour market: The boss of Seven Dials Market in London’s West End says Brexit has “absolutely screwed” the food industry after it “ripped away” its labour source. Simon Mitchell, head of the street food market operator Kerb, told CityAM that companies are facing staff shortages “for every single shift, every single day.” He pointed to an exodus of overseas workers from the country following Brexit and said a domestic labour pool of enthusiastic British workers “does not exist”.


Labour Market: The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee have been told by industry chiefs that businesses ranging from retailers to restaurants to care homes are facing a “battle” to recruit staff against the backdrop of a shrinking workforce, with many workers having left the country or unable to work due to sickness. A “diminished labour pool” was the “key issue” for recruitment challenges, David Sheen, public affairs director of UKHospitality, said.


Innovation stifled: British inventions are being marketed overseas because of new Brexit safety certification rules, according to The Observer. Trade bodies and entrepreneurs have blamed the decision to stop accepting the European Union’s CE mark and instead create a new UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark. This creates extra layers of red tape and some products cannot yet be tested because the UK has no facilities. One entrepreneur had to set up a US company where the product will now be manufactured and sold. British companies were also setting up divisions in Japan.


Automotive. The MD of Lotus cars Matt Windle says European customers will get deliveries of the new Emira model first, before UK customers who will have to wait longer because of Brexit. “You have to go through a separate approval now, you have to get European approval and then you have to get UK approval, whereas before we had whole European legal approval,” Mr Windle said. The £60,000 Emira is an important vehicle for Lotus, designed to compete with Porsche’s 718 Cayman.


Trade. The latest statistics on trade and investment between the UK and Australia supplied by the Department of International Trade, shows that for trade in goods only, exports to Australia decreased by 2.7% in the 12 months to August 2022 compared to the same period the previous year. UK imports of goods from Australia decreased by 41.9% over the same period. The total value of trade in 2021 was £14.4bn compared to a pre-pandemic total of £18bn in 2019.


VAT free shopping. After the UK left the EU in 2021, then Chancellor Rishi Sunak ended tax-free shopping but this was reintroduced as part of Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget in September. It has now been announced it is being permanently scrapped and will not return. The perk permitted international visitors to claim a VAT refund on items bought in high street shops, at airports or at other departure points from the UK and exported in their own personal luggage.


Space exploration. A cross-party group of MPs have warned that the UK has become a “third-rank” power in space and now lags behind Italy after failing to develop an effective programme following Brexit. The defence select committee has described the lack of progress in developing a 21st-century satellite navigation system after Britain left the EU’s Galileo project as “unacceptable” and the government’s approach to security in space “lacks coherence, clarity and direction.”, said the committee.


The economy. A 28 minute film produced by senior FT writers and British business people which examines how Brexit has impacted the UK economy has been viewed almost 2.4 million times in six days. The film looks at the political conspiracy of silence, and seeks to explain why there has not yet been a convincing case for a ‘Brexit dividend’.


Trade. According to Ireland’s Economic and Social Research Institute, Brexit has resulted in asubstantial negative impactfor trade in both directions between the EU and the UK. Trade from UK to the EU dropped 16% while there was a 20% decline in trade from the EU to the UK, compared to a no-Brexit scenario, the ESRI said in a new working paper published Wednesday. The analysis looked at product-level data on goods trade flows for 2021, the first full year of the UK’s withdrawal from the bloc.


Airlines. A key Aer Lingus route between Belfast City Airport and Heathrow in London has been axed. The Irish carrier wanted to maintain the arrangement, but after its relevant air operation certificate expires at the end of this month under the terms of the EU and UK’s post Brexit trade and cooperation agreement, the route will be cancelled. Eugene Gargan from the Fórsa trade union described the development as hugely disruptive, and said: “This is, unfortunately, another unforeseen and disastrous consequence of Brexit.”


Blue passports. Analysis by the Labour party shows the Home Office squandered £8.6m as it ditched burgundy passports when the colour was switched to blue. This was part of a total of more than £4Bn wasted by government departments last year alone, including more than £1.6bn of taxpayers’ money written off by the Business department and £1bn in fraud and error from COVID grants.


Trade. Volatile pricing and availability of materials, accompanied by widespread disruption to global supply chains are just a few of the challenges faced by many UK businesses post-Brexit. Those trading within the EU have suffered a massive upheaval due to the loss of access to the EU’s present free trade agreements. Tim Goodall, MD of told CityAM that pre-Brexit, EU sales of bikes accounted for over a quarter (26%) of their annual sales. Year-to-date figures for 2022 show they accounted for just 5%, an 80% decline.


Farming. The Observer claims the government is to scrap the “Brexit bonus” which would have paid farmers and landowners to enhance nature, in what wildlife groups are calling an “all-out attack” on the environment. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is said by sources to be considering paying landowners a yearly set sum for each acre of land they own, which would be similar to the much-maligned EU basic payments scheme of the common agricultural policy (CAP).


UK economy. An international delivery firm says August’s £800m fall in EU trade adds to the UK’s economic woes, highlighting the scale of the problems Brexit has caused UK manufacturers and retailers. Head of consumer research at ParcelHero, David Jinks, said: ”Imagine the kind of export volumes the UK would now be achieving worldwide had Brexit negotiations not led to such disastrous new tariffs and red tape. Trade in this Brexit-less multiverse would be booming. Had our EU exports continued to increase at their pre-Brexit levels and our non-EU exports shown this month’s rise, UK plc would be soaring.”


Data protection. The government has confirmed another delay to draft digital legislation saying the data reform bill introduced in recent months is now on hold while ministers take another look. Ministers have been flirting with reworking domestic data protection since the 2016 EU referendum but the delay means yet more post-Brexit uncertainty for British businesses. The government project reforms would yield savings for businesses of over £1BN over ten years.


Food safety. Maggot-infested meat was among illegal products found during a snap inspection of 22 lorries at Dover in one 24-hour period this month. Officials discovered raw animal products loosely stored in carrier bags and tissue without temperature control, refrigeration or label identifiers. The items were to be sold at markets and independent stores in Britain. Details were revealed by Natalie Elphicke, the Conservative MP for Dover who said there are up to 10,000 vehicle movements across the Channel a day.


Divorce bill. The UK’s Brexit “divorce bill” stood at €41.8bn (£36.7bn) in 2021, according to The Guardian using data from the EU’s court of auditors’ annual report which revealed that the UK was expected to make €10.9bn in payments to the EU during 2022. The Brexit divorce bill was down from €47.5bn (£41.7bn) in 2020, reflecting payments already made by the British government.


Travellers. Expats and frequent travellers who overstay the EU’s 90-day rule face a clampdown, fines and possible bans from next year when a new biometric system in begins in May, giving border officers an automatic readout of how many days Brits have spent in Europe. Up to now, many European border officers are currently being lenient, especially for people who make frequent short trips to the EU — and end up with many pages of stamps in their passports.


Economy. Mark Carney the former governor of the Bank of England, in an interview with the FT on the day of Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget, said following Covid and inflation, British average wages in the UK will probably not now get back to pre-2008 levels until 2025 at least. He also said, “In 2016 the British economy was 90 per cent the size of Germany’s. Now it is less than 70 per cent. And that calculation was made before today.” Other economists have challenged his figures.


Vets. The president of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), Malcolm Morley has warned that ‘costly bureaucracy’; ‘the threat of onerous regulation’ and border checks of veterinary medicine as a result of Northern Ireland’s unique place in both the UK and EU regulatory systems, risked an animal welfare crisis and threatens public health. Mr Morley told guests at a BVA dinner at Stormont said the potential shortage of animal medicines facing the profession in Northern Ireland was the result of post-Brexit regulation.


Trade. The financial technology company Revolut has announced that it plans to shift more than one million trading customers from London to Lithuania in order to market its products to European clients. The so-called fintech business has blamed Brexit according the The Telegraph. The company did not disclose how many customers will be affected, but it is understood it will shift over one million accounts to its Lithuanian arm.


Wales: Mark Drakeford, the Welsh first minister has told the Irish Times that traffic through Welsh ports is down by 30% since Brexit. He said Wales was getting only a “fraction” of the regional development money it would have received before the UK left the EU and that traffic through the ports of Holyhead and Fishguard ports was just 70% of what it was pre-Brexit. “It has a very significant impact and we are looking at ways in which the new barriers to trade can be eroded so that the land bridge can be made as effective as it was previously”, he said.


Northern Ireland: The ESF Peer Group which provides employment support programmes in Northern Ireland says up to 1,700 jobs are at risk over the failure to replace EU funds that were lost after Brexit. The consortium of community groups said it was previously funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) but that money has not been fully replaced by the UK’s levelling up fund.


Trade: Liz Truss’s flagship trade deal with India is on the “verge of collapse” after Indian ministers reacted furiously to comments by Home Secretary Suella Braverman criticising migrants from their country. Last week Braverman expressed “concerns” about the trade deal because it would increase migration to the UK and Indians represented the largest group of visa overstayers. A source in Delhi said Indian government ministers and officials were “shocked and disappointed” by the “disrespectful” remarks.


UK Regulators: A House of Commons committee investigation has found that UK regulators are struggling to cope with the post-Brexit trading environment because of “poor preparation and planning.” Almost two years after the UK quit the EU, there are still shortages of vets, toxicologists, lawyers and economists to deal with the UK’s new status as a “third country”, the public accounts committee report, Regulating After EU Exit, has discovered.


Dover: Doug Bannister, the head of the Port of Dover, has told a select committee that he is concerned about new checks due to come into force when entering the EU after next May: “We do not have a solution that’s going to work in a very busy ferry terminal. Bannister says it could take a car of four people ten minutes to get through the new biometric checks at Dover. New technology is going to be trialled in Calais in the next couple of weeks.


Data transfers: A letter from Robin Röhm, CEO and co-founder of Apheris, published by CityAM says that UK plans to replace GDPR with its own “business and consumer-friendly British data protection system” is bad news and will only increase complexity for companies in Britain and the EU hoping to collaborate by sharing data across geographical boundaries. He says yet another set of rules for the UK is a step in the wrong direction.


Shortbread: Walker’s Shortbread in Aberlour, Scotland has declared that staff recruitment remains “very difficult” and trading with the EU has become more costly since Brexit, even as it reported a “strong response” to the pandemic. Director Jim Walker said: “This summer and last summer, we were really about 200 people short, both years. Our existing workforce have done their best to work longer hours and [at] weekends. We have put on night shifts where necessary. But it has been very difficult.”


Brain drain: Sky News reports 22 UK-based scientists have decided to leave Britain rather than lose their EU research funding, as uncertainty continues around the future of Research and Development (R&D) support post-Brexit. Scientists and engineers say the UK’s position as a world leader in research is at risk from “significant brain drain” amid doubts about what will replace funding after negotiations with the EU stalled.


Defence contractors: Britain’s position as the world’s most important aerospace and defence market after the US had already been weakened by Brexit caused by additional bureaucracy and the UK being excluded from important pan-EU research programmes. The FT report that new figures from industry trade body ADS show Britain’s civil and military aerospace activities turned over £22.4bn in 2021 — 37% lower than before the coronavirus crisis. In contrast, although hit by the pandemic, data from Germany’s trade body show the sector, which for decades trailed the UK, has consolidated its recent lead with revenues of €31.4bn or £27.8bn in 2021.


Farmers. Farmers are said to be deserting the Conservatives. A worker shortage, the absence of a post-Brexit subsidy system and slim profit margins are fuelling a rural revolt, says The Times. At an NFU debate at the Conservative conference, many in the audience were worried about spiralling diesel bills; what subsidy system will replace the CAP; productivity plummets due to a lack of seasonal workers; crops rot in the field and overseas markets have disappeared.


Farming. According to the FT, farmers and environmental groups are demanding guarantees from the government that it will maintain a “level playing field” for food and animal welfare standards in future post-Brexit trade deals. A coalition of more than 10 lobby groups have called for the PM to avoid a repeat of recent trade deals with Australia and New Zealand, which they said could undercut UK farmers and put consumers at risk.

September 2022Bootstrap

Eurostar. The CEO of Eurostar has written to the chair of the Transport Select Committee to explain that passenger capacity at St Pancras has been cut from 2200 passengers per hour to 1500 because of extra passport checks required after Brexit, a fall of 30%. Jacques Damas, said, “It is only the fact that Eurostar has capacity-limited trains and significantly reduced its timetable from 2019 levels, that we are not seeing daily queues in the centre of London similar to those experienced in the Channel ports. This situation has obvious commercial consequences and is not sustainable in the mid-to-long term.”


Dover. The port of Dover has warned that the new EU entry-exit system (EES), which is due to start in May 2023, will require all non-EU nationals to register their fingerprints and be photographed before entering the bloc. This could add up to 10 minutes for a family of five in a vehicle on their first trip after EES is introduced, compared with about 45 to 90 seconds for border checks today and multiplying delays at the Channel ports.


Music industry: A report by UK Music, a body representing the British music industry, which is almost a third smaller than before the pandemic, is calling for a package of support including tax relief, a VAT cut for struggling venues and a streamlining of restrictions affecting workers and touring between Europe and the UK. The report complains of rampant inflation, soaring costs and Brexit red tape which threaten to derail its fragile recovery.


Spanish driving licenses: British expats living in Spain are furious over the delay in reaching a deal to end the ban on UK driving licences in Spain. A protest has been organised in Madrid next week. Britons who failed to convert their UK driving licences to Spanish ones by the December 2020 deadline, have found themselves banned from driving on Spanish roads since May. Talks are ongoing but no date has been set for a resolution.


US Trade deal: New prime minister Liz Truss has admitted a trade deal with the United States is unlikely to happen for many years to come. She told reporters on a flight to New York for a meeting of the UN General Assembly: “There [aren’t] currently any negotiations taking place with the U.S. and I don’t have an expectation that those are going to start in the short to medium term.”


Northern Ireland farming: Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer has called for direct dialogue between the EU institutions and local representatives in Northern Ireland to resolve problems caused by Brexit on the province’s agricultural sector. Speaking at a round table event in the EU Parliament Mr McAleer said: “The Tory-imposed Brexit is having a hugely negative impact on farms, small businesses and wider society here in the north.”


Universities: The European University Institute (EUI) is an international organisation dedicated to social sciences and humanities founded in 1972 by the six original members of the then EEC. The UK government has now confirmed that an interim agreement allowing the UK to continue membership of the EUI comes to an end on 31 December 2022.


Ford Transit vans. Ford has admitted that Brexit has not helped the production of its electric E-Transit Custom. Hans Schep, general manager Ford Pro Europe, said: “Brexit is not making our life easier.” Schep said the Rules of Origin laws determining in which country a product was made, had increased red tape and caused delays in moving components between European markets. There could be different requirements covering Turkey, where Ford will build the E-Transit Custom and those in the UK, he added.


Customs. Twenty customs support officers recruited to deal with new border checks in Hull as part of a wider recruitment drive by the authority as it prepared for the post-Brexit changes, which were subsequently shelved by the government, have now been made redundant, it has been revealed. The government has delayed implementing new checks until the end of next year when it has pledged to introduce a new system of controls.


Buses. An Oxford bus company has warned of disruption to its services due to a lack of drivers which it blames on Brexit and Covid-19. Luke Marion, Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel interim MD, apologised and said, “here is a national shortage of bus drivers, caused by multiple factors including Brexit, retirements during Covid-19 and drivers leaving the industry to logistics jobs.”


Exports: As the government pushes for a pro-growth strategy, data from HMRC show the number of UK businesses exporting goods to the EU fell by 33 per cent in 2021 from 27,321 to 18,357. Michelle Dale, a senior manager at accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young, told City A.M that the fall was due to the extra red tape UK businesses must now comply with when exporting to the EU. “Businesses are not getting enough support from the Government to navigate the post-Brexit trading minefield”, she said.


Exports: King & McGaw, a £10mn business based in Newhaven, which sells fine art prints online has all but stopped exporting to the EU because Brexit-related costs and bureaucracy. CEO Gyr King says, “If you can’t ship your goods into the biggest market on your doorstep, you have got to be shooting yourself in the foot”.


Trade: According to the FT, the latest trade figures from the ONS show that the UK’s trade in goods and services’ deficit, excluding precious metals, widened by £1.2bn to £27bn in the three months to July compared with the previous quarter, a near-record. Exports are likely to continue to struggle as external demand from key trading partners softens and Brexit trade frictions remain. Gabriella Dickens, economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, forecast that the trade deficit “will reach enormous proportions over the coming months” due to higher gas prices.


Customs. A group of Welsh cyclists travelling from Wales to Portugal to raise money for a prostate cancer charity have been forced to pay a tariff of €10,000 in Santander to release their bikes for the fundraising effort. Newly-appointed Leader of the House of Commons and former Trade minister Penny Mordaunt, criticised the Spanish authorities said the charge was “outrageous” and vowed to “do all I can to help to resolve and get compensation for the group”.


Insurance. A British couple in France have been told by Aviva that their life insurance policy is no longer valid because the firm can no longer operate in France due to Brexit. Kathleen Allen, took out the insurance on her husband’s life in 1991 while living in the UK. Her £44 per month premiums should have entitled her to £14,270 in the event of her husband’s death. Instead, Aviva has offered her a £600 surrender value.


Electricity cost. According to an analysis of wholesale electricity market prices, the loss of the integrated EU Internal Energy market added as much as £250mn to wholesale electricity costs in 2021 and is expected to add up to £440mn by the end of this year. This adds roughly 0.7 per cent to the overall wholesale electricity cost, according to the consultancy Baringa, reported by the FT.


Dover. Kent County Council has called on the government to provide more cash to create better roads to support new customs controls for goods moving to and from the EU. Simon Jones, KCC’s corporate director for transport, said the changes would help the county “buy some time” to resolve long-term travel problems in and out of the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel, adding: “This will help us manage the current situation a little better and hopefully relieve some of the local road issues, which we see all too frequently.”



Electric vehicles. Britain’s bid to get Amazon backed US company Rivian to begin manufacturing electric vehicles in the UK has stalled over the government’s plan to diverge from EU data protection laws. In a recent filing, the firm said Britain’s GDPR reforms posed a barrier to its proposed investment in a major plant in Britain. “Evolving and changing definitions of personal data and personal information within the EU, the United Kingdom may limit or inhibit our ability to operate or expand our business.”


Drax Power station. Drax which produces 11 per cent of the UK’s renewable energy and is described as critical national infrastructure, said in its 2020 accounts filed last October that Brexit may create uncertainty and “extra costs in regulatory reporting or divergence in compliance requirements.” It also said Brexit introduced risks to their ability to influence EU policy on sustainability and may “make the company’s operations more complex and costly.”


Cucumbers. Britain’s cucumber capital in the Lea Valley north of London has seen over a third of growers give up and apply for planning permission for housing, warehouses and small factories, hit by by Brexit, labour shortages and rising energy costs, according to the Lea Valley Growers Association (LVGA). Lee Stiles, the LVGA secretary said, “The largest hub in the UK’s glasshouse sector could face extinction within the next two years, to be concreted over by houses and industry.”


Calais. Frustrated passengers queueing for hours to reach Dover have described fights breaking out in front of children following allegations of queue jumping at Calais. Passenger Nicholas Mohan told KentOnline he was delayed for seven hours when making the crossing on Friday. He said: “Ultimately it is the humble traveller and their families who continue to suffer.” See also 730 below.


Anglo-French ties. The Charles Peguy centre in London’s Brunswick Place, described as a magnet for the French in London, has become a casualty of Brexit. After six decades of assisting French people trying to find their feet in a new country, the centre has been forced to shut. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic played a small part but the principal cause is said to be the hard Brexit Britain chose as its departure route from the EU.


Football. New post-Brexit immigration rules are being blamed for preventing Fulham signing the Dutch player Justin Kluivert from Italian club Roma even after an £8m transfer fee had been agreed. Kluivert failed to meet the criteria to move to the Premier League due to his lack of recent appearances for Roma and Fulham cannot appeal the decision.

August 2022Bootstrap

EuroDisney: Channel Tunnel train operator Eurostar has blamed difficult economic circumstances plus the logistical implications of Brexit for cutting the direct ‘Disneyland Express’ from the UK to Disneyland, near Paris. The route will cease on 6 June 2023. Eurostar said it was concentrating on the core cities it serves in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The EU’s new Entry Exit System (EES) for travellers from outside the EU is expected to be operational at the end of May 2023.


Broadband rollout: Broadband installers and their subcontractors are frustrated with the process of bringing workers into the UK. It can take companies nine months to hire skilled people. Home secretary Priti Patel has acknowledged that the process “inevitably involves more friction” but said that “taking back control of our immigration system is a key benefit of leaving the EU”. Including relocation, the total cost of hiring a worker from abroad is estimated to be £11,000 compared to £1,500 for a domestic worker over a five-year period.


Immigration: The number of EU citizens migrating to the UK for work has collapsed while the number of people from non-EU countries gaining work visas has surged, according to the FT. In the year to June a record 1.1 million visas were granted of which 331,233 were work-related, a rise of 72% since 2019. Out of workers in the category previously known as “skilled worker”, 46% or 102,981 were from India, up 80% on 2019. Only 12% of skilled worker came from the European Economic Area.


Brewing: A small brewery in Kent has seen a 95% fall in export sales since the UK left the EU. The Old Dairy Brewery in Tenterden says extra paperwork, customs checks and transport rules are to blame. A body which represents beer exporters says export costs are now so high, small breweries cannot even afford to send samples to trade fairs.


Ex pats: According to Bloomberg, UK citizens living in Europe are coming to terms with the annoyances and obstacles of life in a post-Brexit world. Costly residence permits, a weak pound and travel hassles are just some of the problems emerging as expat Brits adjust to being foreigners in their adopted EU countries. Some have been forced to return to the UK while others are going so far as to renounce their citizenship.


Steel Tariffs: Some steel exports from Great Britain to Northern Ireland face a 25% tariff because of the Northern Ireland protocol. The EU has changed some of its rules in regard to steel imports for reasons related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which has resulted in sales of steel products to Northern Ireland being subjected to tariffs.


Human rights: A letter from Trade Secretary Ann Marie Trevelyan leaked to The Independent says human rights would be kept out of trade talks. She believes that “free trade agreements are not generally the most effective or targeted tool to advance human rights issues”. This is being contrasted with assurances from Liz Truss in October 2020, that the UK’s “values-driven” trade policy would be used to “spread our fundamental values”, such as human rights, around the world.


London Stock Exchange: The chair of the London Stock Exchange has warned that without a post-Brexit shake-up of City rules, London will lose its status as a global financial hub. In a submission to the Financial Conduct Authority, Michael Findlay said the City would drift towards “regional market” status if it did not cut red tape around listings. He said officials must strip back excessive stock market rules.


Calais: Thousands of frustrated holidaymakers have been stuck in six-hour queues at Calais trying to get to Dover because of ‘delays caused by British Border Control’, according to the Daily Mail. One fed-up passenger claimed: ‘The cause of all the delays was all down to UK Border Control. There were only four booths open for all the thousands of travellers trying to get through.’ A UK Government spokesperson said: “Border Force continue to work closely with operators, French counterparts and relevant government agencies to minimise disruption in advance of the busy bank holiday weekend.”


Eurostar. Citing financial factors and the post-Brexit border situation, the company confirmed services carrying passengers between London St Pancras and Europe via the Channel Tunnel would not stop at the two Kent stations, Ashford and Ebbsfleet, during 2023 and may not do so again until 2025. With the EU’s entry/exit system due to be in place by the end of May 2023 expected to add “further complexity” Eurostar said it would not be able to “make any commitment for another two to three years”.


Wine. Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey has been dealt a heavy blow by Brexit. They rely on the French and German wine industries to supply and service their equipment in the UK but due to Brexit red tape, some businesses on the Continent will no longer deal with the company. Others — partly reflecting the higher costs of doing business with Britain — have put their prices up so much that new equipment to help the enterprise to grow is unaffordable.


Seed potatoes. A farm in Scotland has lost annual sales of 20,000 tonnes of seed potatoes which are no longer permitted in the EU following Brexit. Andrew Skea from Auchterhouse told The National, “We used to sell 40 high-value varieties, but we have lost our exports completely – half of our sales,” he said. “We had a domestic market of 500 million people. That’s been cut to 50m. The UK market alone just isn’t enough to keep some varieties going. It took me 20 years to grow the business to have enough to sell to meet the demand.” See also 30 and 406 below.


Re-enactment Societies. Historical battle re-enactment societies say customs red tape could prevent them taking part in events overseas. The UK’s leading Napoleonic re-enactment society has said post-Brexit customs rules fail to account for their antique firearms, leaving them at risk of having their weapons confiscated. Before Brexit, re-enactors could obtain a free European licence alongside their shotgun licence, which is used for old-fashioned long arms, allowing them to travel freely with their weapons. However, there is no provisions under post-Brexit customs systems.


Research. A professor of microbiology at Imperial College London, José R Penadés, has lost a €2.5m EU research grant to study how disease-causing bacteria evade treatment by antibiotics. The grant was awarded in March but has now been cancelled because the UK was unable to negotiate an agreement to remain in the Horizon Europe funding programme. Professor Penadés, director of the UK’s MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection, says others have made the difficult decision to leave the country and take up work in Europe and he fears for the future of UK science.


Chemists. Before Brexit, the UK was a net importer of academics. In 2019, science and engineering trade union Prospect found two-thirds of its EU members were thinking of leaving the UK. Earlier this year Martin Smith, head of policy at the Wellcome Trust, warned of a ‘real prospect that bright young scientists will decide it will be best for their careers if they leave the UK’ following Brexit. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UK had a net loss of around 1300 scientists in 2020, a level of brain drain comparable to Brazil, with only India seeing a larger outflow.


Football. New UK immigration rules means that Viborg FF, West Ham’s opponents in a Europa Conference League play-off will be unable to travel to the UK with two African players. The Danish club said in a statement that they have “tried everything, and have been in close contact with DBU (Danish football association), UEFA, the two embassies and another foreign club which has been in a similar situation. But unfortunately it has proved to be impossible, as there is a processing time of several weeks and the match was only finally scheduled a week ago.”


Japanese Trade. In an official release, the Department of International Trade says in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022, total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and Japan decreased by 4.5% or £1.1 billion compared to the four quarters to the end of Q1 2021. Total UK exports to Japan decreased 6.0% and total UK imports decreased by 3.0%. This is under the new free trade agreement signed by Liz Truss in November 2020. See also 710 below.


Hospitality. The UK hospitality industry has lost nearly 200,000 international workers since the end of 2019, according to an industry survey, as the effects of Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic squeeze the jobs market. According to data from recruit agency the number of EU citizens working in hospitality businesses at 172,000, is down around 41 per cent compared to a pre-pandemic total of nearly 293,000. The research, reported in the FT, is based on a survey of 250 senior hospitality hiring managers conducted in July.


Immigration. Neil O’Brien, Conservative MP for Harborough in Leicestershire has admitted that immigration has increased since Britain voted to leave the EU. This is despite pledges of “taking back control” and cutting migration to the tens of thousands, and comes amid widespread labour shortages in many sectors of the economy. Mr O’Brien accused the government of “liberalising non-EU migration” since Brexit by ending caps on visas, lowering qualification requirements and removing minimum earning requirements for skilled migrants.


Labour shortages: A report by Oxford academics claims Brexit has exacerbated labour shortages with industries most reliant on freedom of movement hit hard. They found no evidence that employers had responded by raising wages. EU citizens in employment were down 6% compared with the same month in 2020, while non-EU migrants in employment had increased 9%. Madeleine Sumption, director of Oxford’s Migration Observatory cautioned that the response was not necessarily to increase the number of visas available to lower-skilled workers born abroad. She said, “Low-wage work visa schemes are notoriously difficult to police and often open workers up to exploitation and abuse”.


Farm workers: Indonesian workers on a Kent farm to fill post-brexit shortages are “at risk of debt bondage” according to The Guardian. To secure work in Britain Indonesian labourers said they faced thousands of pounds in exorbitant extra fees from brokers. One worker described how he staked his family home in Bali as surety on the debt and fears losing it. “Now I’m working hard only to pay back that money”, he said. “I cannot sleep sometimes. I have a family who need my support to eat and meanwhile, I think about the debt.”


Salmon: Scotland’s salmon industry is facing “acute” labour shortages due to Brexit despite average salaries of £36,000, business leaders have warned. Salmon Scotland say salmon businesses are running 20% short on staff and have warned candidates in the Tory leadership contest, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, that without change there was a threat to the industry’s business competitiveness. See also 698 below.


Airline pilots: As of 1 January 2023, the UK will cease to recognise EASA (European Aviations Safety Agency issued licences and certificates for the operation of UK (G-registered) aircraft. Eligible pilots can acquire a UK licence whilst still holding their EASA licence but BALPA (British Airline Pilots Association) say they will need to begin the application process as soon as possible. Aircraft Maintenance Engineers previously licensed by UK authorities under EASA part 66 who need to work in Europe will also need to reapply for their licence to an EU member state.


Endangered species: Breeding programmes designed to save endangered species are being threatened by Brexit. Zoos warn they are being prevented from transferring animals such as rhinos and giraffes by post-Brexit red tape. Before 31 December 2020, an average of about 1,400 transfers between the UK and other EU countries were made each year. But in 2021 there were just 56, and so far this year there have been 84, according to the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA).


Trade: ONS statistics for June show the UK’s trade deficit widened by £2.0bn to £27.9bn in Q2 (Apr to June) 2022 compared with the previous quarter; this is the largest quarterly deficit in current prices since records began in January 1997. Total exports of goods fell by £2.7bn (8.0%) in June 2022, driven by a £2bn (11.9%) decrease in exports to non-EU countries, while exports to EU countries decreased by £0.7bn (3.9%).


Banking: More British banks have joined Barclays (see 675 below) in advising UK residents in the European Economic Area that their accounts will be closed unless their permanent address is in the UK. Halifax and Lloyd’s, have now told UK citizens living in the EU that they will no longer be able to have and use their account in member states, primarily in Spain, France and Germany.


Labour shortages: Councillor Colin Davie, Lincolnshire’s economy chief said the benefits of Brexit have not yet been realised as the county faces a major workforce shortage and the UK a “worse than a storm” financial future. He said: “I’ve got businesses on the coast who can’t recruit staff to work in their restaurants or bars and the owners and managers are doing the work themselves. They can’t do it forever and if they can’t get staff they’ll end up closing – that’s what we’re gonna see in the autumn if we’re not careful.”


Tax free shopping: The boss of clothing chain Superdry, Julian Dunkerton, has warned that travellers will prefer to go shopping in Europe because Britain no longer offers tax-free purchases. He said high-spending international tourists would stop coming to Britain and go to France instead. “The other aspect that people haven’t realised is that we as Brits can go to France and if we’re buying any high-ticket item, get a tax-free deal on that product”, he added


Trade with Japan. An analysis by the University of Sussex’s Trade Policy Observatory of the first year of operation of the new UK-Japan Free Trade deal shows that during 2021, “In all cases but one, Japanese exports and imports of both goods and services with the UK performed worse than the equivalent flows with the EU or the Rest of the World.” Services exports fell 9.2% compared to 2020 while services imports fell 24%.


Food exports. A meringue manufacturing firm from Shropshire says it no longer exports to the EU due to issues created by Brexit. Flower and White employ 30 staff in Telford and produce a million items a day. They have exported to 12 countries in the EU but thousands of pounds worth of stock has ended up left at ports due to confusion over rules for exporting food items, owner Leanne Crowther said. For the business, Brexit had been “a disaster”, she added.


Dentistry. The British Dental Association has said NHS dentistry is at a “tipping point” after a decade of under-investment. Shawn Charlwood, chair of the General Dental Practice Committee at the BDA, told the BBC’s Today programme on Radio 4 that “running up to Brexit and after the Brexit decision” we saw “thousands” of European dentists going home to the EU and they have not returned. This follows a survey of nearly 7,000 NHS practices by the BBC showing 90% are not accepting new adult patients for treatment under the NHS.


Farming. British breeders are unable to export their pedigree cattle, sheep and pigs to the EU because no private company in France is prepared to invest the millions of euros needed to build a border control post where vets can check the animals before they enter the single market. Now the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) is planning to ask farmers if they will help fund the facility themselves. Some breeders are relocating to the EU. See also 695 below.


Ex pats. British nationals living in Portugal are unable to access healthcare, change jobs, or travel in and out of the country because they have not received post-Brexit residency cards. The UK is urging Portugal to implement the withdrawal agreement fully and protect the rights of the 34,500 British residents. People have been detained at airports, forced to pay for healthcare and risked losing their jobs due to the delays in getting a biometric card which proves their legal status.


Data exchange. A report published by the Conservative European Forum warns that the potential loss of data flows if the government proceeds with a new UK-only rulebook on data security could cut Britain off from the free exchange of information within Europe. Amber Rudd, a former home secretary, cautioned against allowing UK agencies to be locked out of EU-wide security arrangements and said, “In the interests of security, both for the UK and the EU, we should seek to maintain the free flow of data.”


Trade. The FT report that Make UK (formerly the Engineering Employers Federation) are seeing signs that in capital-intensive sectors like engineering and electronics some UK subsidiaries of international companies are struggling to convince their parents to invest in the UK. Fhaheen Khan, senior economist at Make UK, said Anecdotally we are seeing global conglomerates that have bases in many countries diverting R&D funding to other international bases.”


Northern Ireland. Brexit is being blamed for a perceived deterioration in community relations in Northern Ireland.. Figures from the Executive Office show a “significant” decline in those thinking relations between Protestants and Catholics are improving. The Good Relations Indicator report for 2019, the most up-to-date figures published by the Stormont department, shows that the number of adults who think relations between the two communities have improved over the past five years has declined by almost 20 percentage points over the past three years.


Chemicals. In the EU, a group of eight chemicals linked to cancer will be restricted from use in synthetic football pitches and playgrounds from August. They will not be banned in the UK. In March, a cosmetics and household products ingredient called lilial was banned in the EU because it can affect reproduction and fertility. But a similar ban does not come into force here until the end of 2022. The EU is bringing forward new proposals that could see 5,000-7,000 chemicals banned by 2030, including flame retardants, PVC plastics, and chemicals used in plastic bottles and non-stick coatings on cookware. See also 660 below.


Asylum seekers. Despite the government’s stated aim of cutting the number of migrants crossing the English channel by sending asylum seeker to Rwanda, nearly 700 migrants crossed on Monday, a new daily record for this year. Some 696 people were detected making the the journey from France in small boats. According to official figures, more than 17,000 migrants have arrived in the UK after crossing the Channel in dinghies so far in 2022. At the equivalent point in 2021, the cumulative total was just under 9,500.


Exporters. Research from DHL Express has revealed that almost three quarters of SMEs who export or plan to export in the future (72%) agree that Brexit has increased the costs of doing business. Over a third (38%) who already export or plan to, remaining concerned about a lack of awareness among customers about the additional import costs payable. Ian Wilson, CEO at DHL Express UK, said: “this latest piece of research makes clear that businesses are still facing a number of challenges and are in need of support to help them navigate the changes.”


Insurance. The Irish subsidiary of UK insurance group Royal London, set up in 2018 to serve the Irish market, is “monitoring” for any divergence between EU and UK industry regulations as a result of Brexit that may impact its business model. The firm is watching for any change in how the two blocs manage the insurance industry as so-called regulatory divergence “could result in the loss of some element of efficiency” in its operating model, according to accounts for Royal London Insurance DAC for 2021 filed with the Companies Registration Office in Dublin.


Salmon. Scotland’s salmon industry has called for urgent action to tackle Brexit-related delays at Dover, with concerns over fresh fish being left to “rot in lorries.” Fresh salmon from Scotland usually arrives in France the following morning, but in recent weeks there have been delays of up to 48 hours due to queues on the UK side of the Channel. Delays in recent weeks has meant at least one day when no fresh salmon reached France at all, according to Salmon Scotland.


Mutual recognition. The UK government is to pay business bodies to broker deals in foreign countries to allow City workers to more easily work overseas post-Brexit. The new Recognition Arrangements Grants Programme will see payments of up to £75,000 given to professional bodies and regulators, for industries such as accounting and legal services, to pursue mutual recognition of professional qualifications deals. The UK lost its wide-ranging access to EU financial markets post-Brexit, with barriers also erected for City firms wanting to send workers to the continent.


Sandwiches. The FT are reporting that the British £8 billion/year packaged sandwich industry is being ‘derailed’ by Brexit, Covid and inflation. In 2017, EU nationals accounted for more than one-third of the food industry workforce. The UK’s points-based immigration regime has now halted the free flow of low-paid labour, while the Covid pandemic prompted an estimated 1.3m overseas workers to return home. Ingredient shortages caused by supply chain disruptions have added to the industry’s woes.


Farming. A Dorset farm has had to suspend more than £150,000 of orders and may be forced to abandon any future activity in Europe because of post-Brexit changes at sea ports. Wessex Lowlines has spent a decade breeding world-leading cattle, but say the failure to set up a Border Control Post (BCP) to provide crucial veterinary services and processing of livestock entering Europe means all orders for breeding herds in Europe have been suspended.


Universities. Applications from EU students who want to study in Irish universities have more than trebled since the 2016 Brexit referendum. Figures from the Irish Universities Central Applications Office show a huge jump applications from other EU countries. From 1,934 in 2017 the numbers have increased to 6,383 this year.


Touring Musicians. The organiser of the British rock and heavy metal music festival Bloodstock has criticised the increasing post Brexit costs and paperwork for British bands wanting to travel across the Channel and EU bands wanting to come and play in the UK. Adam Gregory said, “There was no real big blockades that we could say would stop a festival from being successful. Then Brexit came along, and literally every barrier in the world went up overnight.”


Business. The Institute of Director’s Economic Confidence Index, which measures business leaders’ view of UK economic prospects, shows in July that 69 per cent of bosses were either very or quite pessimistic about UK economy. Only 15 per cent were optimistic. UK businesses are slashing investment plans as soaring prices, Brexit trading difficulties and political uncertainty all leave bosses pessimistic about the economic outlook.


Bio-diversity. According to the Ends Report, DEFRA has amended its website to show that it would report on only seven biodiversity indicators. Among those that the department will not assess this year are: surface water status; threatened habitats; farmland, woodland and wetland species; seabirds; protected species distribution; marine pollution and invasive species. Surface water quality is known to be in a poor condition in England with no rivers meeting overall standards of good health in the last Environment Agency assessment. 


Passports. The Guardian reports that the British passport has fallen from joint first place to sixth on the Henley passport index – a global ranking of countries in terms of the travel freedom their passports enjoy. In 2015, the UK was ranked joint-first, alongside Germany, but has dropped down the listings each year since. Passports at the top of the index allow the holder to visit almost 200 countries without securing a visa in advance. Those lower down, face more hurdles, bureaucracy and suspicion with demands for extra paperwork and are often refused entry.

July 2022Bootstrap

Trade. Thousands of British companies are cutting economic ties with China en masse and new alliances will be needed in post-Brexit Europe to offset souring trading links with Beijing, warns Tony Danker, the CBI director-general in the FT. Danker said companies were restructuring their supply chains in anticipation of hardening anti-China political sentiment. “We need new strategic alliances in the world,” he said, adding that companies needed to build “resilience . . . In Washington this is all they are talking about.”


Prices. A snapshot survey by Guardian Money examined prices of popular items at pan-European retailers including Ikea, Apple, JD Sports, and H&M, as well as Zara and Decathlon and found in some cases prices were up to 50 per cent higher in the UK than in Spain. Decathlon largely blamed Brexit for the price differentials. It said: “The UK’s exit from the EU has made it more expensive to import stock.” The French sports goods retailer had to expand the size of their supply team in order to deal with the additional administration, costs and duties associated with Brexit.


Food standards. A report by the ResPublica think tank claims that UK farming is at risk if Britain pursues a ‘soft’ approach in trade deals with countries with ‘less qualms’ about quality. Director Phillip Blond said, “The clear and present danger here is that the high standards the UK sets for itself will be undermined once meat and other animal products start being shipped en masse from abroad.”


Regional funding. An analysis by The eastern Daily Press shows that Norfolk and Suffolk are together receiving about 20 per cent less per year than when the UK was as an EU member, even without taking account of inflation. Between 2014 and 2020, the region received about £11.3m each year in European structural funds to boost innovation, businesses, skills and employment along with projects to improve social inclusion. Under the UK Shared Prosperity Fund however, the counties are only receiving about £9m annually from April 2022 until April 2025.


Housing. Glasgow has partly blamed Brexit for missing its affordable housing targets last year. The city fell 564 short of the intended number of completed homes as the construction industry faced “extremely challenging” circumstances. Only 879 homes (61 per cent of the 1443 target) were finished. The UK’s acrimonious exit from the EU, coronavirus and the war in Ukraine were given as reasons for the failures, with construction costs soaring and materials in short supply.


Residency rights. The Western Morning News has outlined four ways in which the ending of freedom of movement has had negative consequences for mixed EU-U.K. families. These include cases where a persons residency rights now depend entirely on their spouses status, family members having to negotiate with each other considering compromises and trade-offs, when choosing where to live and work after Brexit. See also 679 below.


Financial services. TheCityUK, a trade body representing UK-based financial and related professional services, has warned that the UK’s services sectors are being hamstrung by political neglect and a lack of attention in trade policy. Nicola Watkinson, MD, International Trade and Investment at industry group, said it was “a little bizarre” that the UK services industry still had to fight for visibility and inclusion in trade policy despite making up some 80 per cent of economic output.”


Research. A Cambridge research centre for bird intelligence, the Comparative Cognition Lab, facing closure due to Brexit, has had to be saved by a campaign to raise £500,000 from public donations. Together with support from the university, the facility’s immediate future is secure. The lab had previously been funded by grants from the EU and was due to continue under Horizon Europe, a key EU research funding programme but the UK’s participation has been delayed due to the ongoing row over the Northern Ireland protocol.


Trade: A survey of 2,600 exporters by The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) found a quarter had suffered a fall in exports and another 46% reported no increase despite booming export markets. William Bain, the BCC’s head of trade policy, said that since last summer UK exports to the EU and the rest of the world have stalled while many other leading exporting countries have enjoyed a boom. “The combination of supply chain disruption, soaring prices, and the impact of Brexit red tape and compliance costs has had chilling effects on exports, especially for smaller firms already scarred by the pandemic”, he said.


Business: The Conservative mayor for the West Midlands, Andy Street, has said that Brexit is bad for business. Speaking on Radio 4’s PM programme, Street said that there had been “some consequences” on business in his region as a result of Brexit and added, “if you look at this region, our deterioration in the export performance is definitely partly to do with that [Brexit]”.


Families: Research by a group exploring the long-term impacts of Brexit on migration between the EU and UK reveals high levels of anxiety among “mixed status” families  where one partner is British and the other European. A British woman currently in France for example told researchers that her “husband and daughter cannot return to UK and live there with me”. It found that six years after the EU referendum, strong negative feelings remained over questions relating to entitlements, and the loss of freedom to move from one country to another in future.


Tourists: The Daily Mail is reporting that since Britain became a third country Spanish border authorities are requesting proof that tourists can spend at least €100 per-day and have a minimum of €900 available. Spanish officials can also ask tourists to prove they have an onward ticket and accommodation booked for their stay. If tourists are unable to prove they can support themselves financially, they could be denied entry. After Brexit, the UK is also able to impose similar obligations on EU tourists arriving here as a standard visitor.


Chemicals: According to the FT, the UK chemicals sector faces a post Brexit red tape hit which is twice the initial industry estimates. A government impact assessment seen by the paper, has put the central estimate of the cost of registering chemicals on a new UK database, often duplicating existing EU registrations, at £2bn. It comes as both leadership candidates pledge to cut EU red tape. The DEFRA assessment implied a £91,000 bill for each substance registered under UK Reach and that 22,400 ‘distinct substances’ would fall within the scope of the new regime.


EU legal proceedings.  The EU have launched four new infringement procedures against Britain for non compliance with significant parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol. These are in addition to the infringement procedures launched on 15 June 2022. They include failing to comply with customs requirements on the movement of goods from NI – GB, failing to notify the transposition of EU legislation laying down general EU rules on excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages and failing to implement EU rules on VAT for e-commerce.


Barclays bank. Barclays have asked customers in the European Economic Area (EEA) to close their accounts because they “can no longer provide [banking services], because we have an address for you, or for someone associated with your account, in the EEA.” It is not known how many such accounts are affected.


Divorce bill: The Brexit divorce bill negotiated by Boris Johnson has increased by nearly £10bn compared to the official estimate when the UK left the EU. The Treasury says the increase is “primarily due to the most recent valuation of the UK’s obligation under Article 142 for EU pensions”. When Britain left the EU in January 2020 the Office for Budget Responsibility put the figure at £32.9bn, meaning the cost of the financial settlement has soared by nearly £10bn.


Dover: The Port of Dover has declared a “critical incident” due to five-hour queues leading to the ferry terminal. CEO Doug Bannister said the port had been “badly let down” by the French border controls which he said were “insufficiently resourced” in France and working slower than normal, causing traffic to queue for miles. Travellers, some with young children, say they have barely moved for hours as they approach the port.


NatWest: According to the German newspaper, Handelsblatt, in order to absorb the consequences of Brexit, NatWest will open a subsidiary in Germany, especially for its British business customers. NatWest Europe GmbH, based in Frankfurt, is to become fully operational by the end of the year. Customers from the continent will continue to be served by the Dutch NatWest subsidiary. The aim of the German subsidiary is also to serve European business customers who invest in the UK.


Public health research: A group representing Britain’s top universities has written to the EU Commission warning that science and research are “too important” to be used as part of the negotiations over the Northern Ireland protocol. The Russell Group said that loss of UK association to Horizon Europe, a major EU research programme, could damage climate change and public health research.


Financial regulation: UK insurance companies have warned that a proposed post-Brexit overhaul of the rules governing the sector would increase capital requirements for some providers, according to the FT. Ministers hoped the overhaul of the EU’s Solvency II regime would free up tens of billions of pounds for UK infrastructure. However, in reply to a consultation the Association of British Insurers said that for life insurers, proposals by the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority would not reduce the amount of capital life insurers would have to hold, and would actually force them to hold more, meaning less investment in productive assets. See also 668 below.


British touring musicians: Research by the campaign group Best for Britain shows that on average, the number of British musicians scheduled to tour Europe this summer has fallen by 45% compared to the pre-Brexit years 2017-19. Industry leaders have warned that the UK Government’s Brexit deal makes doing business much harder for touring musicians who are often asked to fill last-minute vacancies in a festival line up. They claim that the end of FoM has effectively disqualified emerging UK artists from these opportunities.


Financial regulations. Government plans to deregulate the City of London in a post-Brexit ‘Big Bang’ will face stiff opposition from the Bank of England, which is seeking to defend high standards and its regulatory autonomy, according to the FT. Sunak set out his approach in a “Brexit manifesto”, talking of a “Big Bang 2.0” that would stimulate growth and “will reap long-term rewards”. BoE governor Andrew Bailey is said to regard it as meddling by ministers and could increase risk. One senior government official involved in drawing up the new regime said, “Bailey isn’t too happy.”


US confidence in UK business. While remaining relatively positive, US investors operating in the UK are slightly less confident than they were a year ago according to a recent survey. US companies say, “continuing challenges surrounding the UK-EU economic collaboration are the main issue affecting foreign direct investment confidence levels.” The predominant reason for the dip is the “progressive impact of the UK-EU split” which respondents cited as one of the most unattractive aspects of doing business in the UK.


Trade. A report by the trade body Make UK claims Brexit-supporting regions in the UK are becoming increasingly dependent on the EU for their manufacturing exports. The research, based on quarterly manufacturing outlook data measuring performance in output, orders, employment and investment intentions, also found the EU remains the “overwhelmingly dominant” destination for UK manufacturing exports. Analysis by the business advisory firm BDO of 2021 data shows that 49% of British exports go to the 27-nation bloc.


Northern Ireland. In a further embarrassment for the UK government and supporters of the NI Protocol Bill, trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic continues to “soar.” According to the Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO), imports from Northern Ireland for January to May 2022 increased by €357 million to €1.9 billion euro when compared with the same period of 2021. At the same time, exports to Northern Ireland from the Republic increased by €586 million euro to €1.974 billion.


Medicines: The UK fell behind the EU last year in the number of so-called novel medicines approved for use. An audit conducted by Imperial College London found that only 35 so-called novel medicines were approved for use in the UK in 2021 compared with 40 in the EU and 52 in the US. Industry experts said the smaller size of the UK market, which accounts for just 2.4% of global healthcare spending, compared with 22% for the EU, makes it less economical for some international drug companies to complete paperwork for just the UK.


Regulators. A new report from the National Audit Office (NAO) looked at how three UK regulators (the HSE, FSA and CMA) are managing the transition away from the EU. The NAO say all the regulators identified loss of data and information-sharing arrangements with EU counterparts as having a negative impact on their ability to assess risks or carry out their work. They are seeking to mitigate the loss in a number of different ways, for example, using other international systems, publicly available data or setting up data-sharing arrangements on a case-by-case basis where possible.


The arts. Fergus Linehan, the outgoing director of the Edinburgh International festival has called for the UK’s visa and exports rules to be greatly simplified to allow musicians and artists to travel overseas far more smoothly. Mr Lineham said, the UK’s post-Brexit visa rules had been a “disaster” for the arts and for artists by stifling collaboration and making it harder for British artists to tour abroad. He has urged the UK government to introduce visa-free travel for artists and solve the huge logistical problems affecting companies importing touring equipment into the UK.


Milk. Farmers are blaming Brexit and Covid for recruitment problems and warning that a chronic shortage of workers is hitting milk production and further fuelling food price inflation. Eight in 10 farmers looking for workers said they had received very few or zero applications from people with the right experience or qualifications, in response to a survey by Arla Foods, the UK’s largest dairy co-operative. They are calling for urgent action to stop the situation getting worse.


Chemicals. Environmental groups say the decision not to match new EU restrictions on a number of potentially hazardous chemicals opens up the prospect of a “chasm” emerging between Brussels and the UK, leaving Britain with weaker regulations on chemicals that are potentially harmful to human health and the environment. Research by Chem Trust, an environmental charity, found that since Brexit the UK has matched only two out of five EU restrictions on chemicals that could be hazardous, with a further 20 EU restrictions in the pipeline.


Ports. Ports across the country are threatening the government with legal action unless compensation is paid to cover the millions of pounds they’ve spent building new border control posts (BCPs). The posts, originally due to begin operating this month, were designed to carry out post-Brexit physical checks on imports of plant and animal products from the EU. Portsmouth, the UK’s second busiest cross-Channel port, has spent £25 million on a BCP but the state-of-the-art new facility is standing empty. See also 655 below.


Asylum Seekers. The Royal Navy is threatening to “walk away” from Priti Patel’s plan to stem the number of boats carrying asylum seekers across the Channel. Defence chiefs are said to be fed up with the ‘rapidly imploding‘ plan of using the military to control small boats in the Channel. MoD figures shows crossings have close to doubled since the military was given “primacy” over the issue from mid-April compared with the first three months of this year.


Pigeons. Cross-Channel pigeon racing is at risk as post-Brexit red tape threatens to drive thousands out of the sport, the head of its governing body has said. EU regulations after Brexit say any bird entering continental Europe must be treated as if it is being imported. In practice, this means a layer of paperwork, veterinary checks and expenses that are prohibitive to many fanciers.  Ian Evans, the CEO of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association, told the Guardian. “It really is very significant. This historic pastime is at threat. (see also 134 below)


Trade: The International Trade Committee have raised concerns that British products will lose out under the UK – Australia trade deal, the first full deal signed since Brexit. The government is said to have failed to secure protection for the names of certain food and drink exports, such as Melton Mowbray pork pies, Scotch whisky and Welsh lamb. Under the terms agreed Australia producers will be free to copy these products. The MPs also expressed disappointment that tariff-free Australian food will not be required to meet core UK food production standards, for example regarding pesticide use which could lead to unfair competition.


Ports: The British Ports Association (BPA), has calculated that at least £450m of taxpayers’ money has been spent on post-Brexit border control facilities, some of which may no longer be required after the government announced it is working on a new operating model for imports – due to be published in the autumn and coming into effect at the end of 2023. Brexit opportunities minister, Jacob Rees-Mogg, said at the end of April that all checks and paperwork at the border would be digitised.


Vehicle safety standards: Britain is said to be falling behind global best practice in road safety. The government has not confirmed it will adopt new life-saving regulations for cars and commercial vehicles now being implemented across the EU. The General Safety Regulation (GSR) are new EU standards covering the phased introduction of intelligent speed assistance, autonomous emergency braking (AEB), better crash test standards, and improved truck visibility to reduce blind spots.


Food waste: UK farmers are warning of ‘catastrophic food waste’ because of post-Brexit labour shortages according to the FT. A survey of British Berry Growers’ (BBG) members found that annual waste solely attributed to a lack of access to pickers almost doubled from 2020 to 2021, going from £18.7m to £36.5m. Nick Marston, chair of BBG, predicted the total would “double again this year”. One grower reportedly had not been able to harvest two million iceberg lettuces because there were not enough people to pick them. “In May, we have had some catastrophic food waste across crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, iceberg lettuces, salad and asparagus”, Ali Capper, executive chair of British Apples and Pears said.


Import checksL The postponing of new checks on EU imports has been criticised by businesses for creating confusion and leaving UK borders vulnerable to unsafe produce. Nova Fairbanks, from the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce, said uncertainty over import rules hits businesses. Tom Bradshaw, an Essex farmer and deputy president of the NFU, warned unsafe meat could be being imported. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) was worried about an outbreak of African swine fever among continental pigs and said not having full checks on livestock was dangerous. See also 638 below.


Horizon: At least 115 UK-based researchers are losing or giving up their prestigious grants from the European Research Council after a 29 June deadline passed without the EU approving the UK’s association with the Horizon Europe R&D programme. Another 19 UK-based researchers will be transferred to a host institution in the EU or Associated Countries after the researchers decided to move. The EU are refusing to confirm UK membership of Horizon due to the ongoing row over the Northern Ireland protocol.


Horizon Plan B: The UK science minister is locked in a struggle with the Treasury over post-Brexit research funding as fears grow of a “brain drain” if Britain fails to forge new global science collaborations after being shut out of the EU’s €95bn Horizon project. Allies of George Freeman say he fears that Treasury “penny-pinching” could undercut his attempt to devise a Plan B based on global collaboration in September but has yet to secure cabinet approval or Treasury agreement on precise funding arrangements.


Polling: New polling by Ipsos UK in partnership with the EU:UK Forum shows that the proportion of Britons who think Brexit has made their daily life worse has risen from three in ten in June 2021 to 45% now. Seven in ten of those who voted Remain feel this is the case, up from half last year – and the proportion of Leave voters who say the same has doubled over the same period, from 10 to 22%. Those who say that Brexit has made their daily lives better has also risen, from 10% in June 2021 to 17% now.


The economy: The governor of the Bank of England recently told a European Central Bank forum that “the UK economy is probably weakening rather earlier and somewhat more than others.” The BBC’s economics editor Faisal Islam says if Andrew Bailey’s forecasts of UK underperformance turn out to be true, then this would be consistent with predictions by economists that Brexit would make the trade off between controlling inflation and growth more difficult, both because of trade barriers and labour shortages.


Laptops: Travellers to the EU who carry a laptop for work purposes will require an ATA carnet to temporarily export their computer and avoid import charges according to advice from the government. A carnet from the London Chambers of Commerce costs £300 + VAT (members £180). To avoid this cost business travellers can, for some goods, use a ‘duplicate list‘ which is more complicated than exporting using an ATA Carnet and requires a list on company stationery plus a completed form C&E1246 with an EORI Number and a customs declaration. See also 375 below.


Farming: Food and farming industry leaders have blasted the government’s post-Brexit farm labour policy, which they claim is adding to the cost-of-living crisis and failing to ensure food security. This came at a public evidence session of the UK Trade and Business Commission on Thursday 30 June. Phil Hambling of the NFU criticised the UK government for “strangling labour policy and limiting capacity”. He added that, “The way we have treated labour policy since coming out of the EU has been absolutely crippling for the entire food industry.”


Citizens’ rights: The Home Office is being taken to court by the Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens’ Rights Agreements (IMA). The High Court has confirmed that it has been granted permission to proceed with a judicial review claim against the department. The IMA believes the Home Office’s position that citizens who fail to apply for settled status before the expiry of their pre-settled status automatically lose their rights is unlawful.


Influence: A report in Politico suggests post-Brexit Britain has fallen into a figurative “second-tier” of less influential countries which includes Japan, South Korea and Canada after the UK was excluded from a WTO (World Trade Organisation) meeting between the EU, USA, India and South Africa over proposals for a waiver on Covid-19 vaccine IP rights. The episode was said to encapsulates the UK’s new WTO status: able to set out its own position, but no longer in the room when power players work out draft agreements. “In that specific case, that’s something that is clear about what Brexit meant for the UK within the WTO,” said a Geneva-based trade diplomat.

June 2022Bootstrap

Hospitals: The NHS is facing a shortage of laundry supplies that could have a “knock-on effect” on bed numbers, an industry leader has warned, with staff at one trust recently told to “only change linen if essential”. David Stevens, chief executive of TSA, told The Independent that “As an industry, we’re struggling. Post-Covid and post-Brexit we’ve lost access to a large labour market, for both the healthcare and hospitality laundry industries”.


The economy: Shevaun Haviland, director-general of the BCC (British Chamber of Commerce) told audience members at the BCC’s annual global conference that the government has “until the Autumn budget to reset, rethink and get their house in order”. Rising material costs, supply chain issues and worker shortages are creating a “perfect storm”, she said. Haviland spoke to Chancellor Rishi Sunak at the BCC conference, saying firms were also facing “a lot of challenges” in exporting to the EU following Brexit.


Trade: The FT report that UK’s trade performance in Q1 2022 has fallen to its worst level since quarterly balance of payments data was first published in 1955. Data shows the UK’s current account deficit was 8.3% of GDP, a deterioration from an average of 2.6% across all the quarters of 2021. They say the weak performance of UK exports and a surge in imports will add to pressure on the government over the damaging economic effects of Brexit as the official figures corroborate recent academic studies showing the impact of new border controls imposed in 2021.


Farming: DEFRA is being urged to undertake a “root-and-branch” review of red tape amid accusations of an increasing level of bureaucracy since Brexit. Delegates at an NFU Council meeting on Tuesday 28 June vented their anger and frustration with the amount of costly paperwork and “box-ticking” involved in compliance. Richard Betton, a Durham hill farmer said many farmers had voted for Brexit because they wanted to see a reduction in regulation but the extra burden of bureaucracy has been getting worse for farmers, and it was “grinding us all down”.


Regional funding: Sheffield Council says South Yorkshire is missing out on £103m EU funding a year because of Brexit. Officials said the area will get £22m funding a year from the government’s shared prosperity fund in three years’ time to replace an estimated £125m in EU funding known as the European Structural and Investment Programme, since the area was recognised as being in the highest need.


Food standards: A new report from The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has highlighted challenges facing the UK’s food safety system. The agencies identified two main concerns. First the fall in the number of inspections of food businesses as a consequence of the cost pressures faced by local authorities. Second is the delay in establishing full UK imports controls for high-risk food and feed from the EU, which has reduced the ability to prevent the entry of unsafe products into the UK market.


Pensions: The EU has launched a personal pension product that can be ‘carried’ across borders. Anyone who is resident in the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein will be able to sign up to a Pan European Personal Pension product (PEPP). Savers will have the possibility to choose a provider from another EU country. People moving within the bloc will also be able to ‘carry’ the PEPP with them. British citizens who live in the EU can sign up to a PEPP, while UK citizens or EU citizens in the UK will not be eligible.


Inflation: According to analysts at top US banks, Britain will be stuck with searing inflation for years because of Brexit. Bloomberg report that Citigroup Inc, Bank of America and Standard Bank all see the UK as an outlier in the developed world because of the economic damage wrought by leaving the EU. As price pressures start to fade elsewhere, they say UK inflation will remain higher than it otherwise would be because of immigration controls and supply chain disruption. This comes as ONS figures on Wednesday show prices in April rose at their fastest rate for 40 years with food costs, particularly for bread, cereal and meat, all climbing.


Airlines: According to The Times, British Airways, EasyJet and Tui have all “wet leased” EU-registered aircraft as they struggle with chronic staff shortages. Wet leasing allows carriers to avoid post-Brexit rules which require EU staff working on UK-registered planes to have a British visa. British Airways has borrowed four aircraft from its Spanish sister Iberia and four from Finnair, despite having its own planes in storage.


Trade: A report by The Resolution Foundation suggests Brexit has contributed to a broader loss in UK competitiveness across several of its most important markets. In 2021, the UK lost market share in goods in the US, Canada and Japan. They also say that Brexit is better thought of as a broad-based reduction in workers’ pay and productivity and that a less-open UK will mean a poorer and less productive one by the end of the decade, with real wages expected to fall by 1.8%, a loss of £470 per worker a year.


Holiday disruption: The CEO of the airline Easyjet, has announced plans to cut 7% of its 160,000 flights scheduled between July and September due to operational issues including staff shortages in ground handling and at airports as well as air traffic control delays. Johan Lundgren, said the company had, “turned down 8,000 applicants from the EU,” which equates to 40% of all people applying for jobs at the airline, because of Brexit, which had also contributed to the smaller pool of potential workers. “I’m not blaming… but of course it has an impact. It’s just smaller, it’s just maths,” he added.


Broadband rollout: BT’s semi-autonomous network access arm Openreach, has blamed the “tortuous” post-Brexit process which must be followed to hire European workers for slowing down his company’s fibre rollout program. According to the Financial Times, CEO Clive Selley said that Portugal and Spain alone have thousands of skilled workers that he would take “tomorrow,” if he could. Openreach has committed to connecting 25 million of the UK’s 32 million homes to fibre by the end of 2026: To date, 7.6 million homes have been reached, the FT reported.


Brexit costs: A professor of macroeconomics at University College London, Morten Ravn, has calculated that since Q3 2016 the Brexit vote has cost each person in Britain £4,250. This is when compared to the average of the 19 members states in the eurozone, adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP) using OECD data and fixed in constant 2015 prices. This means the average household in the UK has lost around £10,000 since the 2016 referendum.


Food prices. The Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) have warned of price rises this summer due to soaring costs. Prices will rise at a rate of 15% as households pay more for staples such as bread, meat, dairy and fruit and vegetables, the IGD claim. The UK gets about 40% of its food from outside the country, so it is exposed to global food price rises and since Brexit, EU producers are less likely to prioritise UK customers, it said.


Stagflation. The Bank of England monetary policy committee are forecasting that CPI inflation will reach 11% by October. The committee now expect GDP to fall by 0.3% in the second quarter as a whole, even weaker than anticipated last month. They do not explicitly blame Brexit but say “not all of the excess inflation can be attributed to global events” and point to ‘core’ inflation at 8% being higher in the UK than in the euro area (3.8%) and in the United States (6.4%). Recruitment difficulties are expected to persist due to “structural shortages of labour and skills.”


Ireland. Politico report that David Davis believes Ireland’s ‘Brexit scars‘ could take a decade to heal. Davis has claimed that both sides in the 2016 referendum campaign underestimated the impact of Brexit on Ireland. “I don’t think people saw all the outcomes there,” Davis said, adding: “It’s going to take a decade to get right, I think … Maybe I’m wrong about a decade, but it’s going to take years.” He claims he was “shut out” and that “No. 10 was running a parallel policy. They’re all Remainers — you’d expect it.”


Food standards. Animal welfare campaigners, food policy experts and farmers claim the government is watering down post-Brexit trade deal standards in its recently released food strategy. In an earlier version leaked to the Guardian, the government had committed to making it easier for countries to import goods if they have high animal welfare standards. But the final version is stripped of this and merely commits to “considering” animal welfare and the environment when it comes to free trade agreements.


Sterling. The pound faces an ‘existential crisis’ an analyst at Bank of America has warned, saying that the British currency is facing struggles similar to those in emerging markets. Kamal Sharma, a strategist at the bank, said, “We sense something is changing in the UK with the BoE increasingly hard to decipher and less transparent; a failure to discuss and acknowledge that Brexit has been a significant headwind to the supply side and sense that the BoE is losing control over its mandate.”


GPS. As a result of Brexit the UK lost access last summer to the EU EGNOS satellites and ground stations including the Safety-of-Life (SoL) service that enables aircraft to make high-precision landings. Inmarsat announced on June 8 that it has begun beaming a test navigation signal from an ‘outdated satellite’ launched in 1998 to assist Britain in replacing those lost capabilities. After testing the system is expected to become operational in 2024.


UK economy. Research by The Centre for European Reform (CER) shows the UK economy at the end of 2021 was already 5.2 per cent smaller than if we had remained in the EU. Deputy director John Springford compared the UK with a notional doppelgänger consisting of 22 similar economies and puts the 5.2% reduction in GDP at £31 billion. However, the OBR’s Fiscal Outlook for March 2022 says the UK’s nominal GDP for 2021 was £2,318 billion, making 5.2% equal to around £120 billion. The reason for the discrepancy is not clear to Yorkshire Bylines.


Business investment. Stockbroker Panmure Gordon’s research (see 621 below) shows business investment in the UK has stalled since Brexit and is about £58 billion a year lower than would have been the case had the UK remained in the single market and customs union. Some has been diverted to shareholder, but some is lost economic output that may never be recovered as company boards have faced prolonged Brexit-induced uncertainties to their trading outlook. They say Brexit has made the chancellor’s job of encouraging greater investment harder.


Seafood exports. Coquet Island Shellfish Company had a £50,000 consignment of produce rejected by French authorities because a form signed 43 times by a UK official did not include a printed name. Owner Tom Newton said border control workers in France had turned the shipment away and “we had to pay the transport company and bring in a team of 75 people the next day to reprocess and repack it. Every morning when we send out our goods we’re on tenterhooks wondering whether they’re going to get to where they need to be.”


Stock market. Research by stockbrokers Panmure Gordon shows UK public companies are trading at a discount of about £500 billion since the “scarring impact” of the Brexit vote six years ago. Compared to the rest of the world, the valuation of companies on the FTSE all-share index since 2016 has settled at a 20 per cent discount on an adjusted basis, the largest divergence since the early 1990s. The discount rises to 37 per cent on an unadjusted basis.


Premium Bonds. Overseas holders of premium bonds and income bonds with National Savings and Investments have been advised they will need to close their NS&I account unless they have a UK bank or building society account. This follows some UK banks and building societies advising customers living in certain EU countries that they are no longer permitted to hold their UK based accounts.


Imperial measurements. The government has launched a consultation about more choice being given to businesses and consumers over the units of measurement they use for trade. You can respond HERE. However, Conservative peer and chairman of the supermarket chain Asda, Lord Rose, says returning to pounds and ounces would only please “a small minority who hark for the past”. He has described the plans as “complete and utter nonsense”.


Wine. Daniel Lambert (Wines), a wine importer based in Bridgend, Wales, reports that the post-Brexit retail price of a bottle of wine from the EU has increased by £1.50. This is due to higher transport costs, increased paperwork and the cost of a full-time staff member to deal with it, plus the cost of holding extra stocks to counter extended shipping times which have increased from an average of 10 days to 26 days. See also 579 below.


Exports. UK food and drink exports to the European Union are down 17% in the first quarter of 2022, compared to pre-pandemic levels, Bloomberg report. The fall is attributed to Brexit trade rules and supply chain issues which continue to hit demand. Although shipments of items such as fish, bakery ingredients and gin to Canada and India helped drive exports to non-EU countries above pre-pandemic levels, it was not enough to offset the lower EU demand. Overall food and drink exports hit £5.3 billion ($6.7 billion) in the first quarter, down 7% on pre-pandemic levels, according to a report from the Food & Drink Federation.


Travel chaos. Thousands of holidaymakers have seen their travel plans disrupted this week after flight cancellations and delays at airports with experts blaming understaffing. The CEO of holiday airline Jet2, Steve Heapy, partly blamed Brexit. He told the BBC: “Brexit has taken hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people out of the employment market and that undoubtedly is having an impact.”


Farming. Brexit has led to a decline in crops and fewer home-grown products on the shelves of Britain’s supermarkets. Farmers in Kent told a visiting group of MPs that it has become easier to import some fruits than harvest them because of strict limits on the seasonal workers from the EU. Stephen Taylor, MD of Winterwood in Maidstone, said “The flow of people coming from Europe to work for the summer has declined every year since Brexit, particularly the last two summers, and as a direct result we are now growing less and importing more.”


Northern Ireland economy. The economy in NI is outpacing growth in the rest of post-Brexit UK according to the ONS. Figures show Northern Ireland’s GDP grew 1.4 percent in the July-September quarter of 2021, compared with gains of 0.9 percent and 0.6 percent in Scotland and England, respectively. Economic activity in Wales shrank 0.3 percent over the same quarter. London recorded growth of 2.3% while only two of England’s eight other regions eked out any gains. The Northeast, including Newcastle and Sunderland, fared worst, with a 1.2 percent slump.

May 2022Bootstrap

Kosher food. The Irish Times reports that Brexit has disrupted the supply of kosher food, food which complies with Jewish dietary law, to Ireland from Britain. One supermarket operator, Jim Treacy of Churchtown, south Dublin, estimates that he lost between €200,000 and €300,000 a year in sales when post-Brexit checks required on British food imports put an end to his kosher food line. Border controls arising from Brexit changed everything and ended the flow of chilled deli meats that were popular with Jewish customers in Dublin.


xports. Brexit has contributed to a reduction in the export of food and live animals from Great Britain to Ireland valued at about €1.2 billion in 2021, according to a recently published report from the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO). Britain was the only major Irish trade partner to record a decline in export value in 2021, representing a 36% fall when compared to the previous year. The difference was made up by a corresponding increase in Irish imports from Canada, The Netherlands and Spain.


Increased port fees. Ports across the UK have introduced so-called ‘customs clearance fees’ that range from £17 to £25 per entry, in an attempt to recoup lost revenues in border control posts as a result of delays to phytosanitary procedures. Southampton and DP World have introduced a levy of £11 per removal, which one source described as an “insurance against cost of examinations.” The source told the logistics website The Loadstar : “One client is paying eight to 12 times on a single container – having 30 a month, they’re paying £6,000 a month without ever having an examination.”


Manufacturing. British manufacturing is said to be still in recovery mode from Brexit. According to Investment Monitor, UK manufacturers, after almost two and a half years, are still trying to come to terms with the additional costs and bureaucracy that are impacting their competitiveness. The industry is still awaiting government guidance on crucial business practices such as import controls, marking regulations (product testing) and how EU innovation funding will realistically be replaced.


Passport control. UK visitors face ‘horrendous’ Brexit queues at Spanish holiday airports blamed on delays caused by extra checks needed and a shortage of police officers at passport control. Tour operators are calling for extra police officers to be on duty at Palma de Mallorca Airport, especially on Saturdays, the busiest day from arrivals from Britain. Post Brexit, each passenger must have their passport inspected manually and date stamped by police on arrival and departure.


Marks & Spencers. The high street retailer plans to shut 32 more stores in the next three years, and expects profits to flatline in 2022-23. A decision to fully exit Russia, after temporarily pausing deliveries in the light of the war in Ukraine, will cost it £31m, while new EU tariffs and border costs relating to Brexit had cost £29.6m in profits and £15m in lost trade.


Music touring in the UK. Legendary lead singer of The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger, says Brexit has been a “nightmare” for the music touring industry, with musicians now facing even more red tape when travelling into the UK. Jagger is reported to have told The Sunday Times; “There are a lot of supply chain problems. A lot of shortages, a lot of problems because of Brexit. Brexit has not been a success for the British touring industry.” Since leaving the EU, artists entering the UK must obtain visas and work permits, which make it increasingly difficult for indie musicians to perform and tour across the country.


Trade marks. The number of UK trademark disputes has soared to record highs due to a surge of trademark applications following Brexit according to CityAM using data from intellectual property (IP) law firm Mathys & Squire. Lawyer Harry Rowe, said: “Now that the UK is no longer covered in an EU trade mark, trade mark owners must file two separate applications in order to achieve the same protection. There is now twice as much ground to cover for businesses seeking to protect their investment in their brands.”


Dover. Kent County Council has awarded a £180,000 six month contract to RE:ACT Disaster Response, a charity specialising in earthquakes aid and helping war refugees, to care for suffering lorry drivers stuck for hours and days in post-Brexit queues en-route to Dover. With up to 50 days of gridlock now forecast every year on motorways leading to the port, the charity will provide ‘humanitarian assistance’ including access to toilets, food and drink.


Horizon funding. A Cambridge University astrophysicist has been forced to hand over his coordinating role after the row over Northern Ireland protocol put science in the firing line. Nicholas Walton, a research fellow at the Institute of Astronomy, studying the Milky Way and hoping to play a major part in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) next big project, reluctantly passed his leadership role in the €2.8m pan-European Marie Curie Network research project to a colleague in the Netherlands on Friday. The EU say UK scientists cannot hold leadership roles until the UK’s membership of the £80bn Horizon Europe (HE) funding network has been ratified.


Vegetable shortages. The Daily Mail report that shoppers could struggle to obtain fruit and vegetables this summer due to a shortage of seasonal crop pickers. Quoting a report in The Grocer magazine, the Mail says some UK areas are currently missing as much as 75 per cent of their seasonal workforce, raising fears produce will be left to rot in the ground. The impacts of Brexit, with a large number of seasonal crop pickers traditionally coming from the EU, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and delays in issuing temporary visas have been blamed.


Food price inflation. The former CEO of Sainsburys, Justin King, has blamed Brexit for starting the rise in food prices. “Well in excess of 40% of our food comes from Europe, so it started with Brexit, Covid exacerbated the problems and of course the war in Ukraine and the particular impact it is having on certain commodities will be long lasting and significant,” he said. It comes as the governor of the Bank of England has also warned this week of “apocalyptic” food prices.


Food Safety: The Food Standards Agency has said the loss of access to data sharing arrangements with the EU after Brexit has negatively impacted their ability to carry out their work. The UK’s food safety watchdog said it has been forced to use other international systems, publicly available information and case-by-case arrangements to make up the difference.


Regulators: The National Audit Office has published a report indicating that UK regulatory bodies are finding it difficult to recruit staff and expand activities as necessary after Brexit. The Competition and Market Authority faces challenges in recruiting increasing numbers of staff with expertise in toxicology for example. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) expects it will be a further four years before it reaches the full capacity and there is a risk regulatory decisions could be delayed. The HSE has already extended approvals for biocidal active substances due to expire in 2021-22 to at least 2023.


UK economy: The UK economy is estimated to have lost £47bn because of Brexit red tape as businesses drown in cross-border tax complexities, claims City AM. Just under a third of survey respondents currently exporting to the EU are planning to exit at least one market, and 3 in 5 businesses say fears about tax compliance has caused them to reverse plans to sell goods in the EU. The research predicts that the investment loss due to cross-border tax complexity is expected to result in a further £16.1bn of value lost to the UK by 2026.


Red tape: Marks & Spencer CEO Archie Norman has said Brexit red tape is far worse for British exports to the EU than to Northern Ireland, with some documentation having to be completed in Latin and in a particular typeface. Norman said that exports from Britain to Northern Ireland were currently able to avoid the quagmire thanks to a temporary grace period but he warned that it requires 700 pages of documentation to send a “wagon” to the Republic of Ireland, which it takes eight hours to complete.


Ulster farmers. Because of the Irish Sea border created by the NI protocol, Ulster farmers are unable to bring animals to England, Scotland and Wales to exhibit and sell, since they cannot bring them back easily. Before returning they must first remain in GB for six months. Mr Harry Parker, the chairman of the British Limousin Cattle Society said there are 500 or so members in Northern Ireland, and that this problem has been causing them and other cattle breeders headaches for roughly the last 18 months or so. He described the situation as “appalling”.


Publishing. A Scottish publisher has blamed Brexit after his business was hit with spiralling costs and dwindling sales. Glasgow-based Vagabond Voices is chiefly involved in translating European novels into English. Owner Allan Cameron, who specialises in Italian translations, told The Sunday National that Brexit had caused delivery times to double in some cases while printing costs have increased – both issues he pins on the UK’s exit of the European Union. As well as a “substantial” increase in costs, he’s also seeing his EU sales plummet – a key market for the company.


Imported food risk. Farming and veterinary groups have warned that delays to applying checks on EU food imports are “an accident waiting to happen” according to the FT. Industry insiders claim the Food Standards Agency has warned pig farmers about illegal shipments of pork from Romania which is battling an outbreak of African Swine Fever in its animals. The British Veterinary Association has described the delay as “deeply misguided” and urged ministers to “abandon” their plans or risk causing “significant damage” to the country’s food and farming industries.


Hauliers. The government has announced that specialist hauliers serving Britain’s musical touring sector will be now able to use ‘Dual registration’, a system allowing hauliers to drive the same vehicle in Great Britain and the EU. Hauliers will however need to have an “established base” in the EU and will be able to transfer vehicle operator licences without the need to change vehicles, have their journeys limited or pay VED in Great Britain.  The announcement was described as a “major boost.”


Costs of trade. According to CityAM, Brexit means there is £173m a week less to spend on the NHS, according to calculations based on recent ONS and UK Government data. David Jinks, head of consumer research at international transport firm ParcelHero, which carried out the research, said, “Even if we subtract the true £11bn cost of EU membership for 2018, from the £20bn drop in EU export earnings, UK plc is still £9bn poorer than it was in 2018.” He added that, “In January 2021 alone , the value of goods exported to the European Union fell from £14.3bn in the previous month to £7.8bn.”  


Ex pats disillusionment. A survey, of 1,328 British nationals living across the continent, showed that Brexit, and the UK’s handling of the Covid pandemic, strongly affected 80 per cent of respondents’ feelings towards Britain, with responses including “deep shame”, “disappointment”, “embarrassed to be British”, “shambolic”, and “like watching a house on fire”. Just over 30% still felt emotionally attached to the UK, compared with 75% who said they felt a very or extreme emotional attachment to the EU, and 59% who felt the same in relation to their country of residence.


Chicken. Brexit pressures are largely to blame for the soaring price of chicken, the British Poultry Council (BPC) has said – rejecting Boris Johnson’s claim it is down to global energy prices. The BPC blamed post-Brexit non-tariff barriers and skill shortages for the sharp rise in production costs.  Citing “ongoing Brexit pressures”, the industry trade body said: “Combined with trade barriers, shipping delays for machinery plus a skills shortage (vets and lorry drivers), this all adds a cost that has to be recovered through the marketplace.”


Art works. A British dealer, Steve Shovlar, says, his firm is now “in ruins” thanks to Brexit. Mr Shovlar mainly deals in Old Master paintings priced between £100 and £1,500—not enormous sums, but enough for his small business to be worth £1m.  However, since the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, his income has dropped by 60% with EU trade involving multiple invoices and customs declarations now “virtually impossible.” Shipping delays of around four to six weeks are not uncommon.


Driving licences. From 1 May tens of thousands of British expats will be unable to use their UK driving licence on roads in Spain after the UK and Spanish governments failed to reach an agreement about DVLA-issued licences by the April 30 deadline. Tourists are exempt from the new policy which will only impact Britons resident in Spain. Every other European nation has come to a post-Brexit agreement about UK drivers.


Holiday bar staff. Holidaymakers in some European resorts are expected to face an unexpected shortage this summer. Brexit employment rules mean many bars and restaurants will be short of staff because of restrictions on workers from the UK. For decades, thousands of British youngsters have jetted overseas for a summer working in the bars of popular holiday resorts in Spain and Greece, but this has now been blocked because of the UK’s exit from the European Union.

April 2022Bootstrap

International trade. Research by the Petersen Institute for International Economics (PIIE) shows hat Brexit has reduced UK trade openness, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, and immigration growth. New border frictions and higher transport costs pose new barriers to trade, and FDI inflows are unlikely to return to levels reached in the 1990s and 2000s.


Inflation. A former Bank of England policy maker, Adam Posen, has attributed most of Britain’s inflation problem to Brexit. The economist who heads the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) said that 80% of the reason why the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Britain’s inflation to remain elevated for longer than other G7 peers is the impact of leaving the EU.


Inflation. Brexit has caused a 6 per cent cent increase in Britain’s food prices, according to new evidence from the London School of Economics. Nikhil Datta, a researcher, found that greater trade barriers on imports from the EU has had a “clear and robust” impact on food prices, as families struggle to cope with the cost of living crisis. Grocery bills have risen most sharply for food products more reliant on imports from the EU, the study by the LSE Centre for Economic Performance revealed.


Research: British universities are facing a brain drain as the row over the Northern Ireland protocol threatens £250m in research funding from the EU, according to The Guardian. The European Research Council (ERC) has written to 98 scientists and academics who were recently approved for €172m (£145m) in grants telling them that if the UK’s associate membership of the €80bn Horizon Europe programme is not ratified they will not be eligible to draw down the money.


Passport rules: A family has lost a £3,000 holiday after the mother was told her passport, which expired in February 2023 was not valid for travel to Portugal and some other European countries. Although the passport had more than the required three months before the expiry date, Nina Gurd was told the expiry date was irrelevant, she explained to the BBC. Bournemouth Airport staff said it needed to be within ten years of the issue date and Gurd’s passport was originally issued on 29 May 2012, but had been renewed early and another nine months added, giving it a new expiry date of 28 February 2023.


Trade. Boris Johnson has indicated that import controls on EU goods due to take effect in July will be delayed for a fourth time after experts warned of a “collapse” in trade if the checks are implemented. The PM appeared to suggest the checks can be put off indefinitely until technological solutions are found. It cements an inbuilt advantage for EU exporters. The EU was able to implement checks on UK exports immediately Brexit came into effect in January 2021 while ‘grace periods’ for imports from the continent, have been repeatedly extended.


EU Trade Agreement. In March, the EU published a review of the working of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement after its first year of operation in 2021. It noted a “marked decline” in trade in goods. EU imports from the UK falling 24.8% compared to 2019 and EU exports to the UK falling by 11.4%. It warned of future ‘challenges’ for EU exporters when UK customs and SPS requirements on imports are implemented later this year due to the “complexity of the IT system put in place by the United Kingdom.”


Trade. The Institute of Directors (IOD) has published survey data showing that 42 per cent of businesses that trade internationally are now exporting less to the EU compared to the last five years, with 28% importing less from the EU. Emma Rowland, Policy Advisor at the Institute of Directors, said, “Over the past year, UK businesses have lost EU clients and experienced a loss in revenue. EU firms have pulled out of the UK market due to increased trade frictions.” One of the primary challenges businesses face is the administrative and cost-related burden of new customs arrangements.


Import costs. A wine merchant has claimed importers are being forced to pay up to £150 per consignment for customs paper work associated with excise goods in transit from the EU to a bonded warehouse in the UK. Daniel Lambert, of Daniel Lambert (Wines) in Bridgend says hauliers are increasingly using independent brokers for the duplicated documents required for bonded stock and they are charging up to £150. On a pallet of wine this adds 48p per bottle to the retail price.


Gibraltar. According to City AM, Spanish authorities are refusing entry to British nationals trying to enter the country from Gibraltar. Numerous British citizens were said to be unable to enter Spain this week as authorities at the border demanded to see hotel reservations and evidence of onward travel. Those who were unable to do so were refused entry into Spain. It comes as Spain steps up controls on travellers from non-EU countries trying to enter the bloc via or from Gibraltar.


Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland tourism industry has warned £160m of visitor spend and half a million tourists could be impacted by plans for a US-style visa waiver document for journeys across the border. Under new post-Brexit legislation being considered, non-Irish EU citizens living in or visiting the Republic would require an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) to cross the border into Northern Ireland. Dr Joanne Stuart from the NI Tourism Alliance said there had been “no consultation at all with the industry” on the plans and said the single-entry system “would just be unworkable and completely impractical”.


Exporters. The FT report the influx of British-based companies to Holland has swelled as they struggle with the disruption of a customs border across the North Sea. More than 90 investors have built or rented distribution space since 2017, half of them in 2021, according to government agency Invest in Holland. Martin Bysh, CEO of Huboo, a logistics provider, said it had to act after clients deserted as Brexit negotiations went to the wire in December 2020. “We lost about 10 per cent of our revenue, which was clients leaving the UK for Europe,” he said. “It was a chaotic landscape.”


Language schools. A report by the Tourism Alliance says language schools for foreign students are being “devastated” by a combination of post-Brexit red tape and the impact of the pandemic, threatening the future of a £3.2bn industry. The TA said even though covid travel restrictions had been lifted, ministers had imposed unnecessary barriers on children from France, Germany and other EU nations, prompting a collapse in school group bookings and an estimated 80% drop in revenue across the industry, threatening 40,000 jobs.


Services exports. Figures from the ONS show financial services exports to the EU for Q1-Q3 2021 fell by 38% compared to the same period in 2018 while the same exports to the rest of the world were flat. Professional services exports to the EU fell 12% when sales of similar services to the rest of the world rose by 40%.


HGV drivers. Road hauliers warn they cannot persuade enough EU drivers to come to the UK, and businesses face losing customers if they cannot provide reliable delivery services. The drivers are put off by the prospect of waiting to pass through Dover or Folkestone. The Cold Chain Federation, said the UK had developed a “post-Brexit perception problem” typified by the recent traffic jams while Nick Allen, CEO of the British Meat Processors Association, said: “Hauliers are reporting that they are struggling to get drivers willing to go to the UK if they are going to get delays getting home again and with the international shortage of drivers, they are able to be selective about what jobs they take.”


Medicines Regulator. Sources in the health care sector have told PoliticsHome that a senior official at the Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has said regulatory changes as a result of Brexit could cost MHRA between £20-30 million, leaving the regulator with a funding ‘black hole”. Before Brexit, the MHRA had earned a significant amount from the European Medicines Agency for work assessing new drugs but as a result of the changes they would have to adapt to a “new setup” post-Brexit.


Exports. A survey of more than 2,700 exporters by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) found the number of firms reporting an increase in overseas sales unchanged at 29 per cent during the first quarter of this year, while those reporting a decrease rose by one percentage point to 25%. William Bain, head of trade policy at the BCC, said this performance compares poorly to that of Germany, where exports inside and outside the European single market are ahead by double-digit margins.


Regional funding. According to The Independent, almost £2bn has been slashed from promised development spending in poorer areas of the UK. The government had pledged to match lost EU funding which would have required at least £4.5bn over the next three years but the budget reveals just £2.6bn has been allocated and reallocates the fund to improving “functional numeracy skills”, to boost job prospects. The move has provoked anger in many ‘Red Wall’ areas of England and in Scotland and Wales – which were big recipients of EU structural funds before Brexit.


Beetroot. 500 tonnes of beetroot is being left to rot due to a collapse in demand, caused by Brexit, a farmer tells the BBC. Will Woodhall grows beetroot and spring onions alongside cereals at his farm in Penkridge, Staffordshire and expects to lose up to £90,000 after border rules introduced in January has seen firms in the EU look elsewhere, particularly for perishable goods. Mr Woodhall said he expected to turn the crop into compost instead. The government has said traders need to take advantage of new trade deals it is negotiating across the world.


Dover chaos. A meat haulier based in Lockerbie, Eardley International, who takes fresh meat from the UK into Europe, told the BBC they were experiencing delays of 20 to 25 hours to cross the Channel costing the business up to £800 per lorry. Director Graham Eardley explained, “Our products have a very short shelf life, if we load lamb in the UK on a Monday, we’d expect to deliver that product to Germany on a Tuesday. Now we are seeing delays of 20 to 25 hours to cross the Channel, and the quality and the sale value of that product falls by every hour it is delayed.


Exporters. The number of UK businesses exporting goods to the EU fell 33 per cent to 18,357 in 2021, from 27,321 in 2020, according to new data from HMRC published on 8 April, say City AM. Michelle Dale, a senior manager at accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young, pointed out the fall is due to the extra red tape UK businesses must now comply with when exporting to the EU.


EU funding. The Financial Times has learned that the Shared Prosperity Fund due to be announced Wednesday, which will replace EU structural funding, will fall short of pre-Brexit promises that nations and regions would not be worse off. Johnson’s 2019 election manifesto promised that post-Brexit replacement funding would “at a minimum match the size” of EU funds in “each nation” of the UK. Documents show that England is set to receive almost 50 per cent less than originally pledged, getting £1.56bn by 2024-25 instead of £3bn. The Welsh Government have already said that they are due to lose £1bn by 2024-25. 


Farming. In a devastating new report, MPs on the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee concluded labour shortages, caused by Brexit and accentuated by the pandemic, have badly affected businesses across the food and farming sector. They say that if not resolved swiftly, the shortages threaten to shrink the sector permanently with a chain reaction of wage rises and price increases reducing competitiveness, leading to food production being exported abroad and increased imports.


Farming. According to Farmer’s Weekly, the decision by the EU at the end of last week to provide a €500m (£424m) emergency fund to directly subsidise farmers and the fertiliser industry is set to undercut UK food production. While many farmers agree that a move away from subsidies is the right idea in principle, unless the UK government follows the EU’s lead, it is now more likely than ever that production will be constrained here, unable to compete with food imported from the EU.

March 2022Bootstrap

The Falklands: The Falklands government is complaining that Brexit has destroyed its overseas fish and meat exports. A spokesman is quoted saying, “While we continue to export fishery products to the EU, mainly squid, these exports are now less profitable”. The EU levies 6 to 18% tariffs on fishery products. It looks even more difficult for meat exports where the EU tariff is an average of 42% “The very high tariffs on our meat exports have resulted in the loss of the market as it is simply no longer profitable to export to the EU given the volumes we export”.


Trade: In the latest OBR Fiscal Outlook for March 2022, by the fourth quarter of 2021 total advanced economy trade volumes had rebounded to 3% above their pre-pandemic levels while UK exports remain around 12% below. The OBR say (page 63) that the UK therefore appears to have become a less trade intensive economy, with trade as a share of GDP falling 12% since 2019, two and a half times more than in any other G7 country. While Brexit is not mentioned specifically, it is difficult to see any other explanation for the uniquely precipitous fall in British trade.


Cycling: An article in The New European outlines the difficulties professional cyclists now encounter in gaining experience on the European tour after the end of freedom of movement. They are now limited to spending just 90 days in any 180 period on the continent. Last year, household names of the cycling world called for a robust solution to be in place by 2022. Unless an agreement is reached, they warned, “many riders [will] lose the opportunity to gain such critical experience”. There is said to be little confidence within the sport that Nadine Dorries, the new culture secretary, will successfully deliver a solution.


Bank transfers. Crédit Agricole, a French bank, has introduced a €5 charge for withdrawals made with UK-issued credit and debit cards and in addition, the bank recently started to imposed a new €18 flat fee on any bank transfers coming from Britain. It is expected that other European banks will introduce similar fees, according to various European media, including te magazine The Connexion.


Northern Ireland tourism. Non-Irish EU citizens crossing the land Border in Ireland will be required to apply online for pre-travel clearance – known as Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) – before entering the Northern Ireland. This comes as part the Nationalities and Borders Bill. A human rights group, the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) condemned the move, which it said was “unworkable and risks a hard border for many non-British and non-Irish citizens in Border communities who have been able to freely cross the Border to date”


Private equity. CVC Capital Partners, Europe’s largest private equity group, is planning to shun London and take its multi-billion-euro initial public offering to Amsterdam’s Euronext exchange, telling potential investors that it is aiming to set a € 25bn target for its next private equity fund. The choice of Amsterdam over London, by a company that has its roots in the UK would be a blow to the London Stock Exchange. Britain has struggled to attract large and successful listings in the wake of its departure from the EU, which ended regulatory equivalence for financial services.


P&O Ferries. Contrary to reports, Brexit does not appear to have directly contributed to the fire and rehire policy at P&O Ferries. UK employment laws have not materially changed since leaving the EU. However, Sky News are reporting that Brexit has reduced UK-EU trade and traffic volumes are down, forcing P&O to re-examine its costs. The loss of the UK Landbridge to Irish traffic and the 32 new direct ferry services (see 318 below) between Ireland and the EU, operated by P&O’s competitors must also have had an effect on the company’s profitability.


Dover delays. Two hour delays at Dover are now said to to be the ‘new normal’ with lorry drivers reportedly furious, according to the Daily Express which campaigned for Brexit. Rod McKenzie, of the The Road Haulage Association, said: “when we left the European Union, we said goodbye to free-flowing trade between the relevant countries. It is inevitably the case, therefore, that there will be border checks and border delays.” Roads at Dover have suffered from significant clogging since January with Highways England reporting queues of up to six miles (10 km).


Trade deals. MPs on the Public Accounts Committee have told the government that free trade agreements negotiated since Brexit may not provide any “actual economic benefits.” Tory MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, who deputy chairs the committee, said the department for international trade was “really struggling to point to tangible wins for British business, consumers or our own agriculture sector” from its programme of negotiations.


Microchips. The US Giant Intel have announced the first phase of plans to invest as much as 80 billion euros in the EU over the next decade along the entire semiconductor value chain – from research and development (R&D) to manufacturing. The plans cover an initial 17 billion euros for a semiconductor mega-site in Germany, a new R&D and design hub in France, and investment in R&D, manufacturing and foundry services in Ireland, Italy, Poland and Spain. The UK was not mentioned. It is not known if Brexit played a part.


Trade. Latest ONS figures for January 2022 show total goods imports increased by £4.7 billion (11 per cent), because of a £4.7 billion rise in imports from EU countries while  non-EU imports remained flat. Total exports of goods, decreased by £2.5 billion (8.7 per cent) driven by a £3.0 billion decrease in exports to EU countries while exports to non-EU countries increased by £0.6 billion. The total UK trade deficit in goods and services widened by £8.6 billion to £21.3 billion in the three months to January 2022.


Fraud. The director of legal services at the Crown Prosecution Service has said Brexit has made tackling fraud “more difficult.” Mr Gregor McGill told a parliamentary justice committee that leaving the EU had created problems for police pursuing fraudsters overseas. The committee heard that about 25 per cent of fraud cases involved only defendants from the UK, with the number of cases involving “foreign” defendants rising “considerably more”.


Fashion exports. Growing numbers of UK fashion brands and retailers have started to cut ties with EU wholesale stockists as bureaucracy, complex customs procedures, VAT and tariffs, coupled with wider cost pressures make trading with the EU unviable. In February, Joules issued a profit warning, citing increased freight costs and Brexit-related import duties that came into effect on 1 January 2021. To tackle these issues, the retailer is “significantly” reducing its stockist base of more than 1,700 accounts worldwide – by terminating arrangements with some small and medium-sized stockists and EU sales agents from autumn 2022.


Crash testing. UK women are to lose out over new EU crash-test rules designed to improve the safety of cars to take account of gender differences. Women are 50 per cent more likely to be seriously injured than men if involved in a crash. A rule requiring new models to include frontal impact protection “which does not disadvantage women and older people,” will be enforced a from July 6 in the EU and Northern Ireland but there are no plans at present for GB to adopt it even though the Department for Transport (DfT) and British experts were involved in drawing it up as part of a package of 15 safety measures.


Exports. SMEs (Small and medium sized enterprises) employ 16.3 million people in the UK; the ones that export are 21 per cent more productive than other UK businesses, yet still export less than their European counterparts, by as much as half compared to Germany and Denmark, or even a third of Slovenia’s efforts. Brexit and the pandemic have compounded the problem according to City AM. The last two years have been one of the most challenging periods on record with the value and quantity of UK SME goods exports falling, despite a brief rebound which followed an initial massive £5.6bn fall after the UK’s departure from the single market.


Japanese companies. A survey by Rudlin Consulting shows Brexit continues to be a top concern of Japanese companies in the UK, but less concerning than in 2020. Nearly 50% of Japanese firms in the UK see Brexit as having had a negative impact, rising to two thirds if looking at manufacturers alone. Nearly half of Japanese manufacturers in the UK were experiencing issues with exporting to the EU from the UK and around 35 per cent were experiencing problems with importing from the EU to the UK.


Trade. A report by the UK Trade and Business Commission says British businesses are suffering because of new barriers to trade with the EU in all parts of the UK and that new trade deals have not made up for the costs imposed by these new barriers and may even exacerbate problems. Small firms and freelance workers are encountering particularly severe problems while NI businesses face specific difficulties. They conclude the government doesn’t appear yet to fully understand the scale, range and complexity of the issues involved.


Diverging standards. In February 2021, Brussels announced a ban on 10 pesticides on imported fruit and vegetables and the UK was expected in to follow suit. But now DEFRA says no decision has yet been made on whether Britain will follow the EU or continue to permit the chemicals on food. The pesticides have been banned by domestic farmers in both the UK or EU for some years, but were still allowed for imports from outside the bloc subject to “maximum residue levels” checked by border staff.


Humanitarian aid. Charity workers who are trying to send aid to people in Ukraine say their donations are spending days stuck at the Port of Dover due to complex post-Brexit checks. A Polish centre in Lewisham south London, said it had up to 5 tonnes of donations delayed due to confusion over paperwork. Three lorries were stuck at Dover for two days last week, with drivers initially sent away by border officials asking for additional paperwork despite being told the goods were for humanitarian purposes, not commercial use.


Australia free trade deal: The House of Commons library has published details of the FTA signed with Australia last December. The government confirms it will increase GDP by just 0.08% in the long term, compared with the 4% decrease caused by Brexit. It also concedes the agreement may have an adverse effect on three sectors: agriculture, forestry and fishing; semi-processed foods; and manufacture of other transport equipment. The impact assessment notes all these estimates are subject to considerable uncertainty.


Red tape: Sir Desmond Swayne, MP for New Forest West and supporter of the Leave Means Leave group, speaking in the Commons during a discussion about international trade, has described the fact that UK exporters now have to fill in forms to ship goods to the EU as “monstrous”. Mike Freer, a junior minister at the Department for International Trade said the government planned to improve border systems by 2025. This will not however, remove customs and veterinary checks on goods, which are required by EU law.


Farming. New data from the Farming Opinion Tracker shows that 68 per cent of people who responded said they are “not at all confident” that the government’s new policies will lead to a successful future for farming in the country. The National Farming Union (NFU) said farmers have been left in an “untenable” position, with “very little detail” available about how the schemes will impact them and their businesses. NFU president Minette Batters called the government’s post-Brexit farming policies “completely contradictory” earlier this week.


Red tape. According to the FT, Britain’s leading business organisations report that members are tired and frustrated by the lived experience of Brexit. Mike Cherry, chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says: “Small firms were promised that one upside of leaving the EU would be reduced red tape. They live in hope of delivery.” Other business groups like the British Chambers of Commerce, Make UK, the Construction Leadership Council and the Chemical Industries Association are also cited complaining that any benefits of Brexit are yet to be felt.


Delays at UK ports. So called ‘dwell-times’ at UK ports have doubled since last spring as Brexit red tape slows customs processes and global supply chains seize up. Shippers spent an average of more than seven days discharging at British ports last month. Data from the supply chain visibility platform FourKites shows UK port of discharge dwell times have risen strongly from a low of 3.6 day last April, while remaining steady across the rest of Europe. The figures also found a sharp decrease in the percentage of Europe-bound shipments passing through the UK.

February 2022Bootstrap

Costs of Brexit. The FT report that ClearBorder, a training consultancy, has surveyed 150 mostly small companies and found that only a third of respondents were “very or somewhat confident” in the government’s ability to improve import and export procedures. A majority of companies are now holding more inventory, which consumes more working capital, and 38 per cent said they had established a subsidiary in the EU to make the process smoother.


Customs duties. Figures from accountancy firm UHY Hacker show customs duties paid by UK businesses jumped 64 per cent to a record £4.5bn in the year to 31 January 2022. The figures show that the last five months to 31 January 2022 are the five highest individual months on record for customs duties paid, with over £2.1bn paid in that period alone. Post-Brexit ‘Rules of Origin’ requirements mean anything sold in the UK by EU businesses must wholly or largely originate in the EU to be exempt from customs duties when it enters the UK.


Vets. The food and drink industry is demanding “urgent action” from the government to address a severe shortage of vets to process UK Export Health Certificates after Brexit. According to the FT, Industry groups have warned that a sharp decline in EU vets registering to work in the UK since Brexit, coupled with an immense increase in paperwork for exporters, was creating an “unsustainable” staffing squeeze.


Sugar. NFU Sugar has criticised the government’s decision to extend for another 3 years its 260,000 tonne tariff-free import quota for raw cane sugar produced in ways that would be illegal in the UK. Michael Sly, chair of NFU Sugar, warns the extension, coupled with the complete liberalisation of sugar in the UK-Australia trade deal, could lead to the permanent decline of the UK sugar beet industry. Sugar imports from Brazil alone have increased 217 per cent year-on-year – a clear example of a country taking advantage of this quota to increase its sales to the UK.


Exports to Ireland. According to Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO), UK exports to Ireland fell by 13 per cent in 2021 while those from Northern Ireland have surged by 65 per cent. And while exports from Ireland to Great Britain grew by 17 per cent, imports fell by 13 per cent, from €17.7bn to €15.4bn. This is being attributed to the NI protocol which allows goods to move across the Irish border without the customs checks, which are now required out on shipments from Great Britain at Northern Irish ports instead.


Exports: Seven in ten UK firms say the government’s Brexit trade deal with the EU has been bad for business and held back growth, with a majority reporting it has pushed up costs and increased paperwork. A majority of the 1,000 companies polled by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) also said the deal had put Britain at a competitive disadvantage. Just one in eight firms think the hard Brexit deal secured by Boris Johnson has had a positive impact on them, the BCC found.


Imports: Freight specialists are warning importers that they need to get ready for the changeover from the old CHIEF import/export IT system to the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS). There are doubts about HMRC’s capacity to migrate 5,000 importers to CDS within the deadline, now just six months away. They suggest the complexity of CDS will put some strain on supply chains as importers get accustomed to the need for more information – CHIEF calls for 54 data elements, in contrast to the 80 needed by CDS.


Beef: Farmers have been warned that Canada is pushing for hormone-treated beef to be made available across the UK once Britain joins the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). According to the National Farmers Union, the deal would “severely undermine British farmers” and lower the quality of meat sold across the UK.


Musicians. British bands wishing to tour Europe now need to list every instrument and piece of equipment individually and have them cleared by customs with no possibility to add further items without additional extra customs clearance. John Read, a musician with the British band “Project Blackbird” says that the band’s European tour last summer was a bureaucratic nightmare. Moreover, because of restriction on cabotage British trucks cannot be loaded or unloaded in more than two locations within the EU.


Falling exports. Figures released by the ONS this week showed UK exports to the EU fell by £20 billion in 2021, a 12 per cent fall compared with 2018. Clothing (60 per cent), vegetables (40 per cent) and cars (25 per cent) saw the biggest falls. Over the same period, exports to the rest of the world excluding the EU dropped by a much smaller £10bn, or about 6 per cent. UK goods imported from the EU were down almost 17 per cent (£45bn), compared with 2018. In comparison, imports from the rest of the world increased by almost 13 per cent (28bn).


Energy security. The French energy regulator CRE has rejected an investment request for a 1,400MW undersea electrical interconnector cable citing doubts related to Brexit uncertainties. The project was granted the European Project of Common Interest (PCI) status in 2017 under the EU’s TEN-E Regulations governing PCI projects. However, since the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, the TEN-E Regulation no longer applies in the UK. Therefore, both the energy regulators considered that it was no longer possible to take coordinated decisions on the request.


Channel ports. One of the UK’s leading logistics trade bodies has said that Channel ports such as Dover could “grind to a halt” for both traders and travellers this summer as the result of post-Brexit border controls. The warnings follow the publication on Wednesday of a highly critical House of Commons report (see 525 below) that accused the government of “over-promising” and failing to hit its own deadlines. Logistics UK, the trade body, said EU biometric border controls due to be introduced this year would create long delays unless EU and UK authorities worked together to resolve urgent issues with the new system.


The UK economy. David Smith, the economics editor of The Sunday Times, commenting on the Bank of England’s forecast of 1.25 per cent growth in 2023, followed by just 1 per cent growth in 2024, significantly lower than the eurozone, says we are living with, “the adverse fiscal consequences of leaving the EU [which has] left us with a budget hole that has had to be filled with higher taxes. We now have a high-tax economy strangled by red tape and hampered by trade restrictions.”


HGV drivers. In an article titled: HGV Hell, The Daily Express reports that lorry drivers have been told to “get used to queues of three or four hours at Dover as new Brexit checks are implemented.” The report said that the new checks, which came into force at the start of the year, are causing disruption in Dover, as well as in Calais with long queues of lorries regularly seen lining up along the A20 in Kent. The lorries are forced to line up, it said, due to the Dover Traffic Assessment Project (TAP) being implemented, which is a protocol designed to stop the town from being clogged with traffic.


Brexit costs. A new report from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), has said it “was clear” that leaving the EU was having an impact on UK trade volumes and warned things could worsen this year as new import controls come in. PAC chair Meg Hillier said, “the only detectable impact so far is increased costs, paperwork and border delays.” The PAC also said it was concerned about what will happen when passenger traffic across the UK border returns to normal levels as the pandemic subsides.


Meat costs. The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) told POLITICO that their members are already paying out an additional £60 million a year to fill out the documents known as Export Health Certificates (EHC) needed to ship all animal products to the EU. Nick Allen, CEO of the BMPA said, “That’s before you look at the extra staff that we need to do it, it’s a massive extra cost to the industry.” Businesses have also taken on new IT systems to fill the paperwork, port charges and customs agents’ fees. The BMPA is warning that this will mean rising costs for imports from the bloc when similar checks will be required on imports starting in July.


Translations. With many languages spoken in the EU, formal, public documents such as birth, death and marriage certificates may need translation to be used in another member state or region. Before Brexit there was a cheap, simple EU procedure for this covered by Regulation (EU) 2016/1191. As of 1 January this was no longer available. UK citizens will need to obtain expensive bespoke translations done privately, without knowing if this will satisfy the requirements of the receiving country.


Air passengers compensation: The department of transport is consulting on a plan to overhaul passengers rights after delayed flights within the UK which could lead to “small amounts of compensation that often won’t be worth claiming”. Currently, someone on an internal flight from Edinburgh to London is entitled to £220 once their flight has been delayed three hours, unless there are extraordinary circumstances such as bad weather. New rules could see compensation reduced to as little as 25% of the ticket price.


Food prices: Retail experts say the surge in food prices will not be resolved quickly, with the full impact of Brexit yet to be seen. Figures last week show the price of food items rose by 2.7% in January, the highest rate in nine years. Retailers say while some are short term others are not. Ewan MacDonald-Russell, head of policy at the Scottish Retail Consortium, said one issue was labour shortages in areas such as HGV drivers, distribution and farming. A surge in global commodity prices is being reflected in shopping baskets – sugar prices were up by 33% year-on-year in December, cereals increased by 20%, while meat and dairy rose by 17%.


Exports. The latest purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing is upbeat but remains below that of the eurozone. Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the index, says: “UK goods export growth has lagged that of the eurozone to a striking degree over the past year, with the last five months even seeing the UK battling with falling/stalled exports, underperforming all European peers.”


Dover. long queues of lorries on approach roads to Dover are being blamed on French customs demanding an ink (wet) signature on documents from an official veterinarian for imports of food and animal feed from the UK. While electronic certification would have been possible using an EU computer system, the UK turned down an offer from Brussels to use the platform and built its own system instead. William Bain, the head of trade policy at the BCC, said, “Like many of the problems this looks to be down to a differing interpretation of how the trade arrangements work after leaving the EU.”


Dover. The Dover Traffic Access Protocol (TAP) has been deployed again this morning (1 February) as the port continues to experience high volumes of HGVs. Kent Highways said TAP had been applied on the A20 at Aycliffe. The move was made to prevent port-bound traffic from disrupting the local road network and the A20 through Dover town. The Port of Dover said last week “Customers are asked to prepare accordingly and allow plenty of time for their journey during a period when several ferries being away on refit and external highway works have impacted operational capacity alongside more burdensome border control processes.”


Red tape getting worse. The British Chambers of Commerce say 60 per cent of UK exporters it surveyed in November 2021 reported difficulties in trading with the EU, an increase from 49 per cent in January 2021. William Bain, of the BCC, said freeing up the flow of goods and services into the EU is essential, adding: “No-one is expecting goods to flow as freely across the channel now as they did prior to Brexit. But the way the trade agreement is being interpreted in 27 different EU countries is a major headache for UK business, especially smaller firms without the cash reserves to set up new EU based arrangements.”


Trade. Figures from the German ifo Institute show the UK’s share of EU27 goods exports fell from 6.2 percent in 2019 to 5.2 percent in 2021, while its share of EU27 goods imports fell from 3.9 percent to 2.6 percent over the same period. “Some of the negative impact of Brexit on economic performance and trade already took place before the UK left the EU in 2020,” says Lisandra Flach, Director of the ifo Center for International Economics. The UK’s share of EU27 goods exports fell from 7.1 percent in 2015 to 6.2 percent in 2019. Its share of EU27 imports fell from 4.4 percent to 3.9 percent over the same period. More trade was then diverted away from the United Kingdom as the pandemic progressed, added the institute.

January 2022Bootstrap

Worsening Pigs Crisis. The NFU president, Minette Batters, and the National Pig Association chairman, Rob Mutimer, have written a joint letter to DEFRA secretary, George Eustice, calling for an urgent summit to address labour and supply-chain concerns. The national pig herd has lost-one tenth of all sows over the last six months, farmers’ associations have revealed, after breeders were forced into a massive cull caused by a shortage of labour in abattoirs. They say measures introduced to support the industry have so far delivered “minimal benefit” to pig producers.


Arms sales. UK arms manufacturers have been hit by long delays in attempts to export weapons overseas because of Brexit red tape, a leading trade body has told MPs.The Engineering and Machinery Alliance (EMA) said some firms are “waiting for up to six months” for government licences to export into the EU – despite the target time for approval being two weeks. Jack Semple, director of policy at the alliance, told MPs on the international trade committee that the industry blames the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) for failing to anticipate time-consuming Brexit red tape.


Antibiotics. The UK risks falling behind in the drive to reduce the use of farm antibiotics after an EU ban came into force today (28 January) on the routine administration of antibiotics to groups of healthy animals. European farmers will only be permitted to use antibiotics as a preventive measure in exceptional cases when there is a high risk of infectious disease, and then only with individual animals. The UK government has said it will set out proposed regulatory changes as part of a public consultation during 2022.


Finance. EU banks could soon be able to lend more cheaply to British corporate entities than UK based rivals according to the FT. The EU’s banks are getting a helping hand because of the bloc’s decision to break with some of the final parts of Basel III, the globally agreed capital rules, allowing them to use less capital when making loans to corporates without a credit rating, reducing their lending costs. One senior executive at a large UK bank said, “There’s a risk . . . that BNP can lend to a load of higher quality UK corporates at cheaper rates than UK banks . . . Open markets only work if everybody is playing by global rules.”


Brexit costs. Avara Foods, a poultry supplier responsible for 20 per cent of UK production has seen a fall in profits for the year ending May 2021 and have also announced the closure of their duck business. According to their annual report Brexit involved a “significant investment” in administration costs to manage the transition and enable it to continue to export fresh product to the EU. The company’s ongoing additional admin and logistics costs relating to Brexit are £2.5 million a year.


Regional funding. A new analysis from the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP), PACE at Teesside University and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) shows the north is ‘set to lose out on £300m‘ as regional economic funding drops after Brexit. The European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund and Local Growth Fund saw an annual £2.1bn spent in England, their post-Brexit replacements of the Shared Prosperity Fund and Levelling Up Fund will be worth just over £1.4bn.


Northern Ireland. Construction businesses in Northern Ireland are facing higher prices for some screws and bolts due to a trade dispute between the EU and China. The EU is due to start applying import duties of almost 90 per cent on some Chinese products as an “anti-dumping” measure. This is when the EU determine a foreign company is exporting a product at a price lower than it normally charges on its home market. The NI Protocol means the EU’s anti-dumping measures still apply in Northern Ireland.


Dover. The Unite union have told ITV that the queues of lorries outside Dover are a “direct consequence” of the introduction of additional border procedures at the beginning of the year. Hauliers now have to use the Goods Vehicle Movement System (GVMS), a new IT portal, to obtain customs clearance at ports which Unite estimates is adding around 10 minutes to boarding times for every vehicle, causing severe delays. Adrian Jones, Unite’s national officer for road transport, said: “The fact the GVMS system has been in place for nearly a month is especially alarming because it suggests this is not initial teething problems but the new normal. Drivers fear the problems are only going to get worse, not better, as tourism returns to normal and trade picks up. Delays are only going to get longer.”


Welsh ports: Ian Davies, boss of Stena Line’s UK ports has said Holyhead and Fishguard saw a 30% drop in traffic in 2021 because of the new post-Brexit trading relationship with the European Union rather than the pandemic. Freight volumes across the Irish sea were roughly the same but Irish hauliers were shunning the so-called land bridge and opting instead for the slower and more expensive direct sea routes to avoid new post-brexit checks and paperwork.


Australian Wine: Australian wine producers are complaining that any benefits from a post-Brexit trade deal will be more than wiped out by proposed changes to UK taxes on alcohol. Industry lobby group Australian Grape and Wine estimates that the tax hikes will cost an additional £70m, adding 40p to the price of every £5 bottle of the country’s drink bought by British consumers. This compares to a forecast £26m gain from the trade deal.


Alcohol duty: The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) is urging its members to oppose the government’s alcohol duty reforms which are being introduced after Brexit. They say the chancellor’s plans will increase duty overall by some £250m a year with spirits paying the highest rates. The WSTA claim it is not “economically rational to differentiate duty rates on the strength of product as sold.”


Intellectual property. The Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA), in written evidence to a House of Lords committee last year, have estimated that the financial impact of UK attorneys losing the right to represent clients at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is likely to be between £789 million & £1.7 billion per year. Currently, UK practitioners no longer have a right of representation at the EU Intellectual Property Office which is limited to those within the EEA although EEA practitioners will continue to have a right to represent their clients at the UK IPO.


Dover: The boss of the Port of Dover is calling for urgent talks over plans for biometric checks at the port. CEO Doug Bannister, said the proposed biometric checks were “unsafe” adding, “As currently designed, the biometric checks work well at an airport or a rail terminal, but they’re not designed for a busy roll-on, roll-off ferry terminal”. Transport select committee chair Huw Merriman echoed those concerns and described potential delays as a “disaster” for Kent. Merriman said, “That per-vehicle movement will end up causing a 17-mile delay back into Kent and that would be a disaster for the local economy and a disaster for trade as well”.


Clearing: Brussels is planning to extend its temporary permit allowing European banks and fund managers to use UK clearing houses until June 2025. But, Mairead McGuinness, European commissioner for financial services, told a meeting of Ecofin, the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council, on Tuesday that the commission would shortly begin consultations which will “feed into a strategy on clearing to reduce in the medium term our over-reliance on UK [clearing houses],” Many are unhappy about the financial stability risks to the bloc from €83trillion of open Euro derivatives contracts being cleared in a market that is not in its direct oversight.


Channel migrants. Amid criticism of plans for the armed forces to take over Channel operations to limit migration, it has emerged that over the past two weeks, 773 people have reached the UK by boat – which is more than the total for the first two months of last year.  The total number of migrants who made the crossing in 2021 was treble that of 2020. Defence minister James Heappey told MPs intercepted asylum seekers could not be returned to France without French permission, which has not been given. 


Irish banks. Brexit has boosted Ireland’s international banking sector, increasing their balance sheets and moving the sector up the international and EU rankings. A new report, Supporting Ireland’s Success – The Contribution of International Banking, published by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) and its affiliate the Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI) found Brexit was a key driver of change in the sector here, with the expansion of the banks in the aftermath of the vote to leave the EU adding €200 billion to their balance sheets between 2015 and July 2021.


Exports to Ireland. The latest numbers from Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that the value of goods imported from Britain fell by almost £2.75bn from January to November last year. The drop in imports comes as cross-border trade continues to rise. Exports from NI to the Republic jumped by more than 64 per cent while exports from Ireland to NI also rose by more than 50 per cent.


UK Economy. Nearly one in three businesses fear their company will close before the end of this year, primarily as the long-term effects of Brexit start to bite, according to data shared with City AM. 37 per cent, don’t think their business will survive until the end of 2027, as more than half (54 per cent) of UK business owners indicated they found 2021 to be a more challenging year than 2020.  Brexit continues to be a real obstacle, with 73 per cent of those taking part in a countrywide-survey by One World Express saying their business has seen zero benefit from the UK’s departure from the EU. 


Customs delays: The Daily Express report that HGV drivers are having to queue for up to eight hours waiting to get through customs checks at Calais “red tape chaos” affect deliveries. It comes as new rules came into force this month with experts blaming the problem on government IT systems. Jon Swallow from logistics company Jordan Freight told The Independent: “We’ve been told by HMRC that they are just too busy to deal with it. These delays are very frustrating and costly for companies.”


The economy. A survey by Make UK (formerly the Engineering Employers Federation) of 228 companies found two thirds believed that Brexit had moderately or significantly hampered their business, with over a half of companies (56%) fearing a further impact this year from customs delays due to import checks and changes in product labelling.


Skills. Experts have told City AM that UK firms lack the skills and expertise to handle the increase in customs declarations. Their warning is underpinned by the Institute of Export & International Trade, saying it reported a 379% increase in enquiries to its technical helpline last week. The changes are predicted to increase custom declarations by a factor of five – a worrying rise from 55m to 270m, according to trade consortium Digital Trader Service.


Emissions trading. UK businesses are paying 10 per cent more than their EU counterparts to trade their emissions following Brexit as a result of the government’s refusal to link the UK carbon market to the EU’s. Post Brexit, prices have hiked because the UK carbon market is significantly smaller than the EU one and doesn’t have enough liquidity in its emission trading scheme to cover all industrial sectors. “UK companies are paying substantially more than they are in the EU. The big problem for the UK market is liquidity, and the fact that it is new,” says Tom Lord, head of trading at carbon risk management company Redshaw Advisors.


Farm payments. The “blind optimism” shown by government ministers in plans for the future of England’s farms could result in many small and tenant farmers being forced out of business, a parliamentary report has warned. The end result of encouraging farmers to free up land for environmental purposes – such as woodland – is likely to be that England ends up importing more of its food, often from countries with worse environmental standards than Britain, said the report from the cross-party Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.


Alcohol duty reforms. A shake-up of alcohol duties touted by Boris Johnson as one of the key benefits of Brexit has sparked fury among the UK’s wine trade, who warn it will force up prices for consumers, sow confusion in shops and create “unworkable” levels of new red tape. The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) told The Independent there were fears that some of the UK’s 1,000 independent wine merchants could fold under the burden of extra bureaucracy and expense.


The economy. The British Chambers of Commerce have surveyed almost 5,500 firms, revealing that they are running low on cash and have ditched investment plans to stay afloat into the new year.  Suren Thiru, the BCC’s head of economics, said sales growth stalled as firms struggled with the “mounting headwinds” of inflation, a scarcity of skilled workers, and problems sourcing products from overseas. The persistent weakness in cash flow is troubling because it leaves businesses more exposed to the economic impact of Omicron, rising inflation and potential further restrictions,” he said.


Shortages. Shoppers are reporting supply problems that have led to empty supermarket shelves around the UK for the second time in six months. Fresh fruit and veg and cold goods are particularly in short supply. Many people are blaming Brexit but others say it is down to soaring numbers of workers self-isolating because of Covid. Long queues of lorries formed in Calais on Thursday as new import controls on goods from the EU began to bite after they came into effect on 1 January.


Irish customs. The Irish Revenue’s annual report has confirmed the massive increase in red tape now involved in trade with Britain with €215m of customs duty collected on imports from Britain last year, even before the full impact of Brexit comes into force. That’s equal to nearly half the €526m total of customs duty collected on goods from all other non-EU markets combined last year and helps explain why goods imports into Ireland from the UK as a whole have plummeted by 45pc in the past year, while imports from Northern Ireland doubled.


Students. According to reports on visas from the Home Office, the number of EU students from Poland and Romania fell below 700 in the year 2021 up to October. UCAS statistics show that there were only around 1,100 undergraduate students from the two countries enrolled in UK universities in 2021, compared to almost 6,000 in 2020.  In 2019 there were more than 8,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students from Poland and Romania according to the HE Statistics Agency.


Stock Market. The UK stock market has underperformed other leading equity markets for six years, according to The Times, reflecting persistently weak corporate earnings growth compared to other major economies and global investor wariness of all British assets. As a result, UK stocks trade on a multiple of just 14 times expected 2022 earnings, compared to an average multiple of 16 times for eurozone stocks and 21 times for US stocks. Euro Stoxx index of leading European shares was up 22.5 per cent, its second-best performance since 2009, driven by a 29.2 per cent rise in France’s CAC 40 index and a 23 per cent rise in the FTSE MIB index of Italian shares. The FTSE 100 ended up 14.3 per cent.


Beef. British farmers have criticised Asda’s decision to backtrack on its promise to sell only British beef.  The retailer said the U-turn was the result of higher beef prices, and it would now sell both Irish and British-produced beef in its stores. The move comes just over a year after the supermarket chain, under its new owners the Issa brothers, made a pledge to source 100 per cent British beef. Neil Shand, the chief executive of industry body the National Beef Association (NBA), said he was “very disappointed that Asda wasn’t able to continue its commitment beyond two months.”


Confectionery. David Hill, MD of Cocoda, an exporting broker for the chocolate, biscuit and confectionery sectors says “The past two years have been hideous for two major reasons: Brexit and COVID.“  Hill suggests the problems created by Brexit have been exacerbated by the pandemic and although there is some cross over, the main difference is that COVID-related challenges should evaporate with the virus, whereas Brexit-induced issues are more prolonged. In the first nine months of 2021, overall sales of UK food and drink were down £2.7bn compared to pre-COVID levels, mainly because of a sharp drop in sales to the EU. Germany, Italy and Spain were the worst-hit markets​​.


Music tours. Just one of the 27 EU member states has agreed a deal to rescue post-Brexit music tours.  Despite the prime minister’s pledge made under pressure nine months ago – only Spain has signed an agreement since, leaving artists drowning in expensive “mountains of red tape”. The Incorporated Society of Musicians is now urging Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary and new Brexit minister, to reject the hardline approach of her predecessor, David Frost, which failed to make “progress”.


Share trading. Amsterdam ended 2021 as Europe’s top share trading venue, holding its lead over London despite efforts by the British financial centre to make its equity markets more attractive after Brexit. Figures from Cboe Global Markets show that average daily trading in Amsterdam last month totalled 8.97 billion euros ($10.15 billion), ahead of London’s 8.32 billion euros.


Domain names. Nearly 50,000 internet domain names belonging to UK businesses and citizens have been taken down this week following the revocation of their .eu domain names. Impacted sites include the pro-Brexit site, which now displays: “This site can’t be reached.” UK based owners of .eu domains needed to show their eligibility for an EU domain, by either being citizens or residents of the EU, or be an organisation established within the bloc.


Finance. The City of London’s policy chief said on Wednesday that COVID-19 may be masking some of the impact of leaving the EU. Britain’s financial sector lost most of its access to the EU, its single biggest export customer, a year ago. Catherine McGuinness, policy chief for the ‘Square Mile’ financial district told Reuters, “We are certainly not at a new normal. We need to put Brexit behind us. What really matters now is maintaining our competitive edge in future,” adding, “It’s not a given that people will want to come to London.”


Expats. The Daily Express report that British expats who want to live in Spain without working will now have to prove they have over £23,000 in their bank accounts and apply for a visa. After Brexit, UK citizens too who want to live on sunny Spanish shores will be able to apply for non-lucrative visas for five years before obtaining permanent residency but will have to prove they can sustain themselves in Spain without a job for the first year of residence.


Trade. UK traders are falling foul of a new IT system policing goods crossing the English Channel, as companies grapple with a fresh wave of post-Brexit red tape.  “We’ve got a whole bunch of lorries that aren’t clearing because something isn’t working, and it’s not incompetence on our part,” said Steve Cock, director of customs consultancy at The Customs House who has had freight waiting to enter Britain since New Year’s Day. “It’s going to cheese off a lot of people and have a lot of additional charges for vehicles that aren’t getting to the U.K.” Japanese car maker Honda is among companies that have seen cargoes hit so far.


Poultry. In the run up to Christmas EU workers looking to come to the UK to work in the poultry industry could apply for a Seasonal Worker visa. These visas ran out on 31 December 31 2021, resulting in companies like Traditional Norfolk Poultry facing a scarcity of labour. MD Mark Gorton revealed that “Covid is just making it worse”. He revealed that 5-10pc of his workforce is off due to Covid and that it is making it “difficult” to maintain efficient production lines.


Oranges. Oranges grown in Spain for sale in UK supermarkets are imported by G’s Fresh in Ely. The company brings in 400 lorry-loads of produce a week but the new post-Brexit rules are making the process more difficult. The forms for each shipment taking as long as four hours to complete. Kuldip Kular of G’s said: “If it goes wrong, that could easily be delayed by one or two days which then has an impact on availability on the shelves here and also on the freshness of the product.”


UK Economy. A survey of almost 100 economists by the FT suggests the UK will trail other developed countries in its economic recovery from the pandemic in 2022, held back by political uncertainty and the lingering after-effects of Brexit. A majority said that UK living standards would worsen in the year ahead, with poorer households hit hardest by soaring inflation and higher taxes.


Small businesses. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, up to 440,000 firms may be forced out of business by a late payment crisis. Their survey of 1200 companies reveals a sector facing battles on almost every front, including new customs checks on imports from the EU and a looming energy cost crisis. “Today, it’s a fresh wave of admin for importers and exporters – in three months’ time it will be a hike to the jobs tax, that is national insurance contributions, a rise in dividend taxation, business rates bills and an increase in the national living wage. On top of that, operating costs are surging.”


Beer. Joe Ross, owner of the popular Staggeringly Good brewery in Portsmouth, which was thriving with sales to the EU before Brexit, has been hit hard with a drop of 70 per cent in exports – with many former customers now buying from America via air freight which is cheaper than shipping across the Channel.  Before Brexit, shipping would cost £180 but has now rocketed to £600, while paperwork for transactions have been described as a ‘bureaucratic nightmare’.


Corporate takeovers. Global law firm Mayer Brown reports that – “the number of UK businesses acquired by US private equity houses has jumped 75 per cent this year.” MB said the relatively depressed valuations of UK companies versus their European peers has made them particularly good value for US-based PE funds. With slower economic growth and broader Brexit uncertainty in the UK, sterling has fallen sharply against both the dollar and the Euro, which has made deals more attractive for overseas buyers.


Wine. EU winemakers have been preparing for new border bureaucracy in 2022. Audrey Dokie, a manager at the Louis Moreau estate in Burgundy, exports Chablis around the world, but the UK is its biggest market. “We do know that next year it’s going to get much more difficult in terms of the extra details that will be required on each label.”  Louis Moreau are a very experienced exporter but Dokie adds, “For much smaller winemakers it might be harder.”


Steel. A British manufacturer of cast iron is moving some of its production to a factory in Spain in order to avoid the 25 per cent tariff due on UK production and payable from 1 January. United Cast Bar Limited (UCB), in Chesterfield also have a Spanish plant and MD James Brand says, “60 per cent of the products we can make here we can also make in Spain, and our customers don’t want that extra 25 per cent cost.”


Fishing. A Scottish business owner has told how a year of the “nightmare” of Brexit has left his firm struggling to survive. Jamie McMillan, MD of Loch Fyne Seafarms, lost 60 per cent of his market after crippling costs forced him to stop selling premium shellfish to Europe. Staff numbers have been reduced from 22 to 13. “Our worst fears over Brexit have become just a nightmare. It was even worse than what we could ever imagine it to be,” he told the Sunday National.


Red tape. Many British businesses may “give up importing” as a result of new strict rules that have come into force on 1 January, a former senior civil servant in charge of Brexit planning has warned.  Philip Rycroft, who was permanent secretary at the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) between 2017 and 2019, said with the introduction of new barriers to trade with the bloc, Rycroft said businesses may decide it “is simply not worth the hassle”


Coffee. The Decadent Decaf Coffee company, in an email to clients seen by Yorkshire Bylines has announced a pause to all deliveries to the EU due to “the additional paperwork burden required as well as higher costs + failed deliveries due to inconsistent customs policies.”  They added that for a small business there was too much “work, hassle and risk.”


Trucks. Residents of villages in Kent say since the 66-acre Sevington Inland Border Facility (IBF) opened almost a year ago, countless HGV drivers have been losing their way in Mersham and Sevington, blocking roads and tearing up verges. A year after Brexit, truckers are still getting confused because of a lack of proper signs and outdated information.


Food importers. Britain’s small businesses should expect trade with the EU to be “permanently damaged” from 1 January, according to a supply chain trade body, after new customs checks take effect that it says will make imports from the bloc “more expensive, less flexible and much slower”. Shane Brennan CEO of the Cold Chain Federation said speciality food imports could face the same 70 per cent decline that affected exports of food by small businesses this year after Britain quit the EU single market and customs union.


Whisky. 2021 has been a difficult year for the Scotch Whisky industry. As well as dealing with difficulties in shipping, each EU country can now ask for different information to be printed on labels and for different paperwork to get goods through customs. Graeme Littlejohn, director of strategy and communications at the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “Before [Brexit] it was just the EU we needed to comply with, but now every market is free to pick and choose what they want on the label, which means we are having to produce different labels for different markets.”


Food supplies. Food supplies face further disruption from today (1 January) due to a “medieval” government IT system that is still not yet ready to process post-Brexit paperwork, The Independent claims. Problems primarily affect shipments of fruit, vegetables and plants, with importers also experiencing difficulty logging details of animal products. It comes at the worst time for the UK, which imports half of all of its food during the winter months, mostly from the EU.


Ports. Christophe Mathieu, CEO of Brittany ferries – which operates in Portsmouth – said there is a ‘lack of a level playing field’ as some ports are receiving more public-sector funding than others. He said: ‘All of the government’s focus has been on Dover, ensuring that the facilities there work well, and funding those facilities potentially to the detriment economically and operationally of ports like Portsmouth.’ He explained the private sector has had to partially fund similar facilities at smaller ports such as Portsmouth.


Holidays. A woman who planned to spend New Year’s Eve on Tenerife now faces losing nearly £2,000 after being forced to cancel the holiday at the last minute after she was turned away from the flight. Aya Shillingford, 36, said she was “devastated” after staff escorted her from her Jet2 flight to Tenerife on Thursday morning after finding her passport had been issued over ten years ago – meaning she could not travel to the EU under new post-Brexit guidelines.

December 2021Bootstrap

The City. Many European financial services firms are apparently not interested in continuing to be authorised in the City. Only half of EU firms that were given a temporary license to operate in the UK immediately after Brexit have applied for full authorisation, a Freedom of Information request has revealed. The City watchdog, the FCA, set up a temporary license regime in the months before Brexit, in order to give EU-based firms the opportunity to continue trading in the City but only 39 out of 72 firms that were expected to apply actually did so.


Food supply chain. The British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) has warned that new border controls on plant and animal products imported from the EU may see delays in ports when new customs rules come into force in the New Year. BFFF chief Richard Harrow has said that “Whilst the new UK rules will be introduced in stages, we are concerned that not enough planning has been done to ensure the new requirements are understood by everyone in the food supply chain.”


English teachers. Remote video working is helping to offset a sharp fall in demand for Brits teaching English in mainland Europe in the wake of Brexit, a key industry player has revealed. However, Jennifer MacKenzie, co-founder of Teaching English as a Foreign Language, said it also means UK citizens are now competing with a saturated market of teachers from the likes of Canada and Australia.


Steel.  The UK steel industry is braced for an immediate slump in trade from New Year’s Day when EU rivals will gain a 25 per cent price advantage selling to the giant US market. The EU and the US reached an agreement to remove tariffs on a quota of steel and aluminium imported from the bloc into the US from 1 January, but tariffs will remain on all UK steel and aluminium exports amid reports that the US is holding back over the UK’s threats to unilaterally change post-Brexit trading rules governing Northern Ireland.


Cheese: A British cheesemaker has described the post-Brexit EU trade deal as the “biggest disaster that any government has ever negotiated in the history of trade negotiations”. Simon Spurrell, the co-founder of the Cheshire Cheese Company, said personal advice from a government minister to pursue non-EU markets to compensate for his losses had proved to be “an expensive joke”. The company has lost its entire wholesale and retail business in the bloc over the past year.


Golf: Donald Trump’s Scottish golf resorts have been hit by Brexit staff shortages. Accounts signed by director Eric Trump, say: “Brexit has also impacted our business as supply chains have been impacted by availability of drivers and staff, reducing deliveries and availability of certain product lines.” The filing also says prices have increased due to import duty charges and wage inflation as retail and logistics sectors increase wages to attract staff.


Disabled badge holders: British disability blue badges are no longer being recognised in major holiday destinations across Europe thanks to Brexit, the government has admitted. Automatic recognition for Britain’s 2.4 million blue badge holders – a perk of EU membership – stopped across Europe on 31 December 2020 when the EU transition period ended and although ministers promised to negotiate individual deals with EU countries to recognise British badges, a year on they have still failed to do so for the most popular destinations including France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal.


Brexit. The first year of Brexit has left most voters dissatisfied. More than six out of 10 believe Brexit has either gone badly or worse than they expected. Overall, just 14% of all voters said Brexit had gone better than expected.  The Opinium survey – coming a week after the minister in charge of Brexit, Lord Frost, resigned from Boris Johnson’s government – also found that 42% of people who voted Leave in 2016 had a negative view of how Brexit had turned out so far.


Care workers. On Christmas Eve the government announced that care workers are to be added to the shortage occupation list, after figures showed more than 40,000 social care staff had left the sector in the past six months. The scheme is designed to help migrants get work visas to fill jobs where there are shortages. It follows warnings the sector faced “severe and increasing” problems with hiring and keeping staff after Brexit. Social care workers, care assistants and home care workers are to become eligible for a health and care visa for a 12-month period.


Farm workers. Again on Christmas Eve the government extended the seasonal farm work visa scheme until 2024 following farmers’ complaints about post-Brexit labour shortages. The industry has previously warned of the impact of Brexit on food security and previously accused the Government of failing to listen to its concerns. The Home Office has previously been reluctant to increase the number of visas allocated to seasonal workers.


Fishing. June Mummery, told The Daily Express that Boris Johnson has “betrayed the fishing industry and coastal communities.” The former Brexit Party MEP continued: “I thought we would take back control. We would rebuild our coastal communities.” Ms Mummery, who campaigned with the pro-Brexit group Fishing for Leave went on to add how she does not see any positives going into next year and said the UK still has “four more years of this. I do not see any positives going into 2022.”


Champagne. The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has released a joint statement to warn UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps that the country will run short of wines and spirits this month due to a lack of HGV drivers. The letter was signed by 48 members including major players Moët Hennessy, Pernod Ricard, the Wine Society and wholesaler Matthew Clark, urging the government to extend the temporary visa programme. Henry Butler of Butlers Wine Cellar in Brighton said, “A pallet of Champagne used to cost about £165 to ship from France but this year it cost £265. The only difference was a line at the bottom of the invoice saying ‘Brexit admin fee.”


Trade. When lorries rolled off the Stena Horizon ferry on Cherbourg last Wednesday, the port recorded its 100,000th trailer from Ireland in 2021 – a figure three times higher than 2019 and 2020. As is well documented, the huge rise is a result of post-Brexit freight patterns. According to France Blue, all of the main operators on routes between Ireland and Cherbourg, Stena Line, Irish Ferries and Brittany Ferries, have seen their freight volumes on these routes triple in response to the post-Brexit demand.


Price rises. Simon Sutcliffe, a partner at tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg, believes delays in implementing the full impact of the post-Brexit customs laws – known as Rules of Origin – have “softened the impact” of the UK’s exit from the European Union, and that “things will get worse” when they are finally brought in from January 2022.  “The longer and more costly process would lead to higher costs for the consumer as things become more time-critical and agents have to work harder to clear goods on arrival, and not relying on that six-month breathing space. This means that customs agents will raise their prices which will be passed on” he said.


Trade. 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. Of UK exporters, 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.


Car Makers. UK car production in November hit its lowest level since 1984, falling 28 per cent as Covid continued to affect supply chains, a motoring industry group has said.  The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) call the figures “incredibly worrying”, blaming a continuing shortage of semiconductors.  The start of full Brexit customs controls could also hit firms, it said. SMMT boss Mike Hawes added the industry was as prepared as it could be for the start of full EU customs checks from 1 January, but warned any delays arising “from ill-prepared freight or systems will place further stress on businesses”.


Trade. Faisal Islam, the BBC’s economics editor, has reviewed UK-EU trade after one year of Brexit with small business owners. He concludes that “the UK economy appears to be less open or less global than it was before.” The owners he spoke to reflected on different aspects of the reality of one year of trading outside the Single Market and Customs Union. It’s clearly been challenging: “Frustrating. Scary. Huge drop in sales. Rendered uncompetitive in Europe.”


Scotland. Some of Scotland’s most important exports have seen costly reductions in sales to other countries, research has revealed.  Analysis conducted by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) showed that Scotland’s whisky and salmon exports were down by 11% and 6.4% respectively since 2019. The SNP said the figures showed the “harsh reality of Brexit” as they accused Boris Johnson of “inflicting damage on Scotland against its will”.


Horizon. Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust has urged the government not to abandon talks about UK participation in the EU’s Horizon Europe, a €100bn research programme. He told BBC News that being cut out of EU research would “greatly disadvantage” British science.  Agreement in principle was reached, but UK involvement is now a bargaining chip in talks over Northern Ireland.  In response the Science Minister, George Freeman, has said the UK is ready to set up its own scheme.


Trade. Newly revised-down figures for third quarter GDP shows the UK’s industrial sector struggled under the twin pressures of Brexit and global raw material shortages according to The Guardian. Trade figures show an 8.8 per cent fall in goods exports from July to the end of September, at a time when global trade was booming as coronavirus restrictions had eased. The ONS said business investment fell by 2.5 per cent in the third quarter meaning investment across businesses large and small remains 11.7 per cent below that in the fourth quarter of 2019.


HGV Drivers. The government scheme to bring 4,700 HGV drivers over on a temporary three-month visa has attracted approximately 200 drivers in total and is now closed to new applicants, according to Home Office migration minister Kevin Foster. Appearing before the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee last week Foster told MPs that “around 200 visas” had been issued.


Fishing. UK Fisheries, owners of the UK’s biggest trawler The Kirkella, have described a new government deal with Norway to win back fishing rights following Brexit as “too little, too late” and say they are “absolutely devastated for the crew” as the new quotas offered just one week’s work. The Kirkella has been laid up at its base in Hull since December 2020. The self-employed, 30-strong crew were paid per trip and have been “sold down the road”, according to first mate Charlie Waddy.


Australia trade deal. The post-Brexit trade deal signed with Australia last week will see British agriculture, forestry and fishing take a £94m hit, the government’s own impact assessment (IA) shows. There is also an expected £225m hit to the semi-processed food sector, which includes tinned products, as part of a “reallocation of resources within the economy”. The IA refers to Australia as a “large, competitive producer of agricultural products”, making clear the “potential for the deal to result in lower output for some agricultural sectors [in the UK] as a result”.


Welsh farming. Farmers’ Union of Wales President Glyn Roberts says Brexit has restricted access to their main farming export markets on the Continent in ways which are only just beginning to be felt. Meanwhile, UK Government cuts to Welsh rural funding – in direct contradiction to promises made repeatedly by those who advocated Brexit – have added to the pressures on Welsh agriculture, the rural economy and Welsh Government, he said. The FUW have made no secret about how they regard the prospect of liberal trade deals with countries such as New Zealand and Australia and have regularly raised concerns.


Stormont. according to Northern Ireland Finance Minister Conor Murphy, the power sharing executive is more than £100 million short as a direct result of Brexit. Only around a fifth of the £70m expected to replace European Union Structural Funds is being received and cash allocated by the Executive to the Department for the Economy to maintain European Social Fund and Regional Development Fund programmes will not prove possible again.


Scotland. James Cook, Chief News Correspondent for The Nine programme on BBC Scotland catalogues the impact of Brexit on a number of Scottish food and restaurant businesses. The issues include Labour and product shortages, struggles to obtain stocks, higher customs charges and lower profits. Anna Christopherson, a restaurant owner in Edinburgh saw her chain, Boda Bars, struggling to pay rent and bills. “It’s been horrendous,” she said, “Brexit has been massive, we’re going to see that for the rest of our lives, I think.”


CE Marking. In a blow to government plans to develop a UK standards regime, a survey of 1,000 businesses by the British Chambers of Commerce shows just 8 per cent of UK exporters want to drop the European CE marking system on 1 January 2023, according to the FT. Some 59 per cent of BCC members that rely on the quality assurance marks to place products on the market said that they favoured a return to recognising the CE mark and “are not persuaded by the case for ditching CE marking in Great Britain.”


Irish market. Brexit has driven a sharp decline in trade between Ireland and Britain this year but the drop has been largely offset by an increase in cross-border trade, according to fresh analysis by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and the Irish Department of Finance. Over 40 per cent of Ireland’s imports from the United Kingdom overall came from Northern Ireland in the first half of 2021 — up from just 6 per cent in 2015 while imports from Britain represented just 7.2 per cent of total Irish imports in the first half of 2021, down from 23 per cent in 2015.  Irish exports to GB have fallen from nearly 11 per cent of overall Irish exports in 2015 to just over 6 per cent total in the first six months of the year.


Daffodils. Millions of daffodil stems will be left to rot in the fields this spring, as Cornish growers face a critical labour shortage that they fear could spell the end of the entire industry. Some expect up to 75% of their crop will be left unpicked. Last season around 275 million stems were left in the ground and this coming season looks set to be even more challenging. James Hosking, of Fentongollan Farm, near Truro said, “If we can’t recruit more pickers, there won’t be a daffodil industry left. The situation is very grim.”


French traders. French market traders operating the Norman Market in St Helier, Jersey are running an ‘everything-must-go’ clearance of their food – because Brexit restrictions mean they cannot take it home. Christine Bonhomme, director of Maison de Normandie, the organisation that helped bring the market to the Island, said the issue had sprung from a change in administrative procedures after Brexit came into force earlier this year.


Trade deals. The Trade Justice Movement has criticised the government’s free trade agreement (FTA) with Australia, a country they say which is well-known for its lack of action on climate change. A 2021 report put it last of 193 UN member countries on sustainable development. TJM say the FTA impact assessment acknowledges that increasing bilateral trade will lead to a 31-40 per cent increase in annual greenhouse gas emissions associated with transport of UK-Australia trade and “is likely to increase beef exports to the UK, one of the drivers of deforestation in Australia.”


Irish border tensions. News that the UK government has dropped its demands for removal of the role of the ECJ from the Northern Ireland has elicited a furious response from Lord Dodds, the former deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party. He issued a veiled threat of “action” unless the UK restores the option of pulling the plug on the Northern Ireland protocol by using the article 16 process.


Immigration: The Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA) has launched a lawsuit against the Home Office for breaching the terms of the withdrawal agreement (WA). The IMA claim EU citizens will lose their rights to live in the UK if they don’t convert their pre-settled status to settled status within five years of being granted status. The pressure group, The3million, warned the IMA in February that the UK’s  settlement scheme for EU citizens was incompatible with the terms of the WA. 


Chemicals: Environmental groups are warning that the government’s proposed post-Brexit chemicals regime to replace the EU REACH system puts UK safety standards at risk, according to the FT. The groups say that the UK will rely in part on voluntary submissions from industry which could allow dangerous chemicals to “fall through the cracks”, creating a “major weakening” of the UK’s safety regime compared to EU membership, and risk the UK being a “dumping ground” for hazardous substances.


Food exports: The Food and Drink Exporters Association have reported exports down 4.1% in the  nine months to the end of September – a loss of £2.7bn – driven largely by a fall in EU exports of 13.9% compared to 2020 and 23.7% compared to 2019. Exports to Ireland, Germany, Italy and Spain were particularly badly hit, continuing the trend seen over the last four years. Exports to Ireland, the UK’s biggest overseas market, fell 21.2% compared to 2020 and 25.1% compared to 2019 – a loss of nearly £0.75bn in sales.


Van drivers: Drivers of light vans wishing to enter the EU, EEA or Switzerland after May 2022 will need to have a “goods vehicle operator licence.” The licence will cost van drivers up to £1,100, a significant burden for solo operators, industry leaders said. Drivers will also have to pay £257 in an application fee and a further £401 for the licence. Another £401 “continuation fee” will be payable every five years to retain the licence, according to


Agriculture: Neil Parish, Tory chair of the Commons environment committee, has warned Brexit is “destroying” British agriculture, and he condemned immigration minister Kevin Foster for ignoring a recommendation to make it easier to bring in EU butchers and other workers – leading to a huge shortage. Parish warned that planting of vegetables was down 25% and poultry production by 12.5%, since Brexit. He said, “I thought Brexit was about encouraging production in this country, not discouraging it. This is down to labour shortages”.


Asylum seekers: The UK’s withdrawal from the Dublin System and the EU’s common European asylum system means that the UK can no longer return applicants to EU member states, adding another “layer of desirability” to the UK as a destination for asylum seekers according to the think tank UK in Changing Europe. As of November 2021, the UK has seen a 20% increase of asylum applications (in comparison to 2020), with the Channel crossings becoming the main route, as three times more people crossed the Channel in small boats.


Trade. The Daily Express report that Ireland has opened a new goods terminal in Dunkirk as a gateway to Europe. Eamonn O’Reilly, CEO at the Dublin Port Company, told the FT that because of the customs red tape introduced when Brexit put a customs border down the Irish Sea, trade is increasingly going direct to the EU. Dublin Port’s trade is down to 50 per cent with the UK compared to two thirds before Brexit. Mr O’Reilly added: “I think it’s permanent . . . It’s turning back the clock. History suggests to me that [this trade] won’t come back.”


Trade. The Centre for European Reform’s latest “cost of Brexit” trackers says in October 2021 UK goods trade was 15.7 per cent, or £12.6 billion, lower than it would have been if the UK had stayed in the EU’s single market and customs union. This is worse than September’s 11.2 per cent (see 397 below) because trade grew more rapidly in October in ‘doppelgänger UK’.


Import controls. Nearly a third of British importers of EU goods are “not at all prepared” for full post-Brexit customs checks that begin on 1 January, according to a survey by the Institute of Directors (IoD). Three in ten firms said they were not at all prepared for the change, with 37% of small businesses and nearly a quarter of large ones saying they were not ready. From New Year’s Day a six-month grace periods will end and companies importing goods will need to make immediate customs declarations to HMRC and pay any tariffs due.


Investment. Figures from the ONS in The Financial Times have revealed that business investment in the U.K. “fell off a cliff” in mid-2016 immediately after the Brexit vote and has failed to recover since. It is down 10 per cent on the second quarter of 2016, while over the same period, business investment grew by 8 per cent in the eurozone and by nearly 20 per cent in the US.


Trade. The British Chambers of Commerce, have said that the recent uplift in trade with the EU following a difficult start to 2021 is not being sustained. In October it tipped back into reverse. William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said: “This is a warning sign. Although the data is a one-month snapshot it feeds into a detectable trend of a levelling off of the recent improvement in UK-EU trade in goods following a very difficult start to 2021.” ONS figures show goods imports from the EU fell by 3.6 per cent in October and goods exports to the EU fell by 2.7 per cent.


Galileo. Professor Sir Martin Sweeting founder and executive chairman of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), a corporate spin-off from the University of Surrey, has told the Science and Technology Select Committee that Britain’s withdrawal from the EU means UK suppliers like SSTL will not be allowed to bid for future upgrades. Satellites 27-28 were launched last month, the first using Galileo’s own Control Centre, thanks to a hugely demanding upgrade from an industrial consortium led by GMV in Spain. See also 44 below.


Horizon. The EU is blocking the UK from its flagship Horizon research programme because it does not “trust” the British Government after threats to tear up the NI protocol. Non-EU countries Georgia, Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia were all granted associate membership of Horizon on 7 December. An EU spokesman told The Telegraph: “The UK’s association to Horizon Europe and other EU programmes will be finalised in due course. This requires a level of trust that the attached conditions will be complied with.”


Travel. Under the Nationality and Borders Bill, non-Irish EU citizens living in the Republic will have to apply online to obtain pre-travel clearance from the UK in order to cross the Border under proposed new immigration laws. These EU and EEA citizens will be required to apply for a US-style visa waiver known as an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) before entering the UK, including when crossing the land Border into Northern Ireland.


Global trade. A member of the Bank of England monetary policy committee has produced a chart showing that Britain’s trade flows (imports plus exports as a share of GDP) have fallen by “far more than in any other G7 country” since 2009. Michael Saunders said Britain has become “less globalised with the effects of the pandemic exacerbated by Brexit.”


Trade. The National Audit Office has published a report on the government’s trade negotiations so far. It concludes the range of projected long-term economic benefits for secured and proposed free trade agreements with Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the US, is between 0 and 0.16 per cent of GDP, equivalent to £0–£3.4 billion. This compares with the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasting a 4 per cent fall in GDP (£85billion) due to leaving the single market.


Delays. A survey by the French Chamber of Great Britain has found delays to cross-Channel trade are still worsening almost a year after Brexit checks came in. The report highlights rising costs and key staff shortages. No less than 79 per cent of firms trading with France reported hold-ups in the 3 months to September, 6 per cent more than in Q2. Some 82 per cent of firms say logistic costs have risen for imports and 43 per cent for exports.


Construction. UK construction workforce lost 175,000 last year a study by the Construction Industry Training Board has found. Some blame Brexit, but UK nationals appear to be leaving the UK industry at the same rate as foreign-born workers. Federation of Master Builders CEO Brian Berry, calling for more home-grown talent, said: “The fall in the number of construction migrant workers over the last three years is not surprising and helps to explain why many small construction companies have had to turn down jobs because of the lack of available workers.”


Steel. The Welsh LibDems have accused the government of a “rigid and inflexible Brexit ideology” that is placing Welsh steel jobs at risk. Welsh steel output has fallen by 20 per cent since 2015 and exports to the EU have plunged by a third. The ongoing row over triggering article 16 of the NI protocol means the US is refusing to lift tariffs, placing steel jobs in Wales at further risk.


Northern Ireland. The British and Irish governments have jointly published the findings of an Independent Reporting Commission, formed five years ago as part of wider efforts to sustain the power-sharing administration. The report says Paramilitary gangs pose “a clear and present danger” to commit violence fed by post-Brexit tensions.


Drones. The future of the UK drone industry, one of Britain’s prime opportunities for growth, and many other UK-based manufacturing exporters, will be severely threatened once the UK’s eligibility for the EU’s CE accreditation regime expires at the end of December 2022.  Robert Garbett, CEO of Drone Major Group Limited, has warned of the need to speed up post-Brexit accreditation and establish a clear pathway to United Kingdom Certified Assessed (UKCA) accreditation ahead of the fast-approaching deadline.


Pigs. At least 16,000 healthy pigs have been culled and incinerated in the UK since the summer due to a shortage of capacity in abattoirs. Pig farmers are facing a perfect storm of issues preventing them from getting a growing backlog of pigs off their farms and into processing facilities. These include a lack of butchers linked to the government’s post-Brexit migration policies and China’s refusal to lift covid-related embargos on pork exports.  See also 391 and 282 below.


Wildlife. The UK’s three largest nature charities say the government’s scheme to replace the CAP and pay farmers for managing land more sustainably, restoring nature and tackling climate change is a huge disappointment. Craig Bennett, CEO of The Wildlife Trusts, said the plan “shows a shocking lack of ambition which does very little to address the climate and nature crises” and “nature-friendly farmers look set to lose out too.”


Seed potatoes. Seed potato farmers continue to face a post-Brexit struggle. As a third country, producers in the UK now require separate technical listings to export to the EU. Richard Thomson MP for Gordon said Europe was the industry’s “largest and most lucrative market” but that Brexit and the UK Government’s determination not to agree continued alignment on food standards, “is putting this trade at grave peril.” See also Downside 30 below.


New border controls. HMRC are reminding traders to prepare for more customs changes that come into effect on 1 January 2022. Importers will, inter alia, need to make import customs declarations for each consignment and exporters will need to state their goods comply with rules of origin to avoid tariffs. If unable to provide supporting evidence the EU customer will be liable to pay the full (non-preferential) rate of Customs Duty and HMRC may also charge the exporter a penalty.


Kitchen retailer. A 109-year-old kitchen retailing business is to permanently close as a result of Covid lockdowns and Brexit supply issues. Ken Thompson, owner of Bussens & Parkin in Mildenhall in Suffolk, says supply delays and Brexit bureaucracy have left him with no choice but to put his store into involuntary insolvency. He said business had reached a point where it was making no profit.


Welsh ports. The ferry company Stena Line says that trade is down 30 per cent at its Welsh ports and that it was apparent “Brexit is not just a short-term issue”. The firm is now preparing for checks to be introduced at the UK side but said it was committed to the ports in Wales. Ian Davies, Head of UK Ports at Stena, said the next priority was helping customers deal with the new checks from January 1 on the UK side of the border with the EU as these have so far been delayed by UK Government.


Irish customs revenue. Brexit and an increase in online shopping have seen an “explosion” in the Irish state’s customs duty haul, almost doubling it to €458 million so far this year. The Irish Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was told the authorities are dealing with up to 700,000 customs entries a day, and that it expects an overall 30-fold increase on the 1.8 million entries it used to handle annually prior to Brexit


Banks. The boss of HSBC has warned banks and their clients of rising costs if Brexit fragments European financial markets. Noel Quinn, CEO of HSBC, said there is a real “risk of fragmentation increasing costs” in the banking sector. Several global banks are planning to shift their workforce to EU cities to avoid greater friction stemming from Brexit. HSBC is planning on moving about 1,000 investment bankers from London to its Paris office.


Steel tariffs. The USA is delaying a deal to remove Trump-era tariffs on UK steel and aluminum exports due to concerns over post-Brexit trade rules affecting Northern Ireland, the FT report. A US Commerce Department official was quoted as saying that talks with the UK on easing metals tariffs could not proceed because of concerns about British threats to trigger Article 16, the report said. Tariffs on EU exports were cut some time ago, see 331 below.


Food exports. The Food and Drink Federation’s newly-released H1 Trade Snapshot shows that UK food exports to the EU fell by 20 per cent in the first half of 2021 compared to last year, and by 27 per cent compared to 2019. Sales to Ireland were down almost a third and to Germany by nearly half. The report also looks at imports from the EU, which were down 11% from 2020.

November 2021Bootstrap

Trade diversion. Figures from the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) shows freight volumes from Dublin to Liverpool and Holyhead down 19 per cent in the first three-quarters of 2021 compared with 2020 and between Rosslare and Fishguard it was down by 30 per cent. Meanwhile Irish traffic direct to EU ports increased by 52 per cent in Q2 and Q3 compared to the whole of 2019.


Trade. A new analysis by the Centre for European Reform shows Britain’s goods trade was 11.2 per cent, or £8.5 billion, lower in September than it would have been if the UK had stayed in the EU’s single market and customs union. The figures are in line with the CER’s ‘cost of Brexit’ model which for many months has found that UK goods trade is consistently between 11 and 16 per cent lower as a result of Brexit.


Labour shortages. Since the Brexit vote, the number of EU workers coming to Corby, Northants has reduced to a trickle and businesses are feeling the pinch when it comes to filling jobs. Warehouses are offering higher rates of pay and better conditions but one manager says, “paying order pickers £28,000 a year is completely unsustainable in the long term. Ultimately the cost will be passed on to the customer at some point.”


UK business sell off. The 20 per cent fall in sterling following the Brexit vote has made British companies cheaper than their EU counterparts and an attractive proposition for US takeovers. According to the ONS the first six months of 2021 saw American businesses acquiring UK firms worth around £34 billion. This is said to represent one of the biggest selloffs in UK corporate history.


Irish ports. Rosslare Europort had one of the busiest days in its history in November- thanks to Brexit. Irish importers are bringing in fewer goods from the UK and are trading more directly to and from the continent. So far this year, the volume of cargo travelling through the port has ballooned by 55%. Continental freight volumes, which have skyrocketed by 378%, are said to be driving the overall numbers.


Xmas gifts. People sending gifts to the EU are warned that problems ranging from delays and unexpected charges to items going missing may be encountered since this will be the first year that new rules relating to VAT and customs charges will apply. Gifts under €45 (£38) that are being sent to Europe remain free of VAT or charges.


Climate change. Lord Deben, the former Tory cabinet minister who chairs the Climate Change Committee, said that the proposed free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand were “entirely unacceptable for climate change purposes”. He warned they would undermine attempts to tackle global warming and were unfair to UK farmers we were asking to meet higher standards.


Pig cull. Sky News are reporting that due to labour shortages in the meat processing industry thousands of healthy pigs are being killed every week simply to make space on farms, amounting to the largest culling of healthy pigs in the history of British farming. The cull is down to a combination of changing immigration rules related to Brexit and many workers choosing to go home during the pandemic and not returning, leaving the sector 15-20 per cent down on the staff it needs. See also entry 282 below.


Small businesses. A survey by cloud accounting provider Free Agent has found that half of UK SME’s believe Brexit has had a negative impact on the UK’s society as a whole awhile 64 per cent believe that it has negatively influenced the UK economy. Over half had experienced shrinking customer bases, while 43 per cent were impacted by supply chain issues and found it harder to get cost effective supplies or produce for their business.


Construction. Brexit and the pandemic have been blamed for the soaring cost of a new pedestrian bridge in Glasgow linking Partick and Govan. The cost of the bridge was originally tabled as £17.5million but has risen by 68 per cent to £29.5million. A Glasgow Council spokesman said all construction projects were facing substantial cost increases as a result of Brexit and the pandemic, after steel prices doubled in the past six months.


Labour shortages. More EU nationals left the UK last year than arrived for the first time in three decades as a net 94,000 departed, piling further pressure on Britain’s labour crisis according to The Telegraph. Net migration plunged to just 34,000 in 2020, down from 271,000 the previous year, as pandemic travel restrictions curbed movement and new post-Brexit immigration rules came into force.


Cornish pasties. The Cornish pasty could lose its special protected status after the UK failed to agree protection for the geographical indicators with Norway and Liechtenstein for products such as Cornish pasties and clotted cream. They are among British foodstuffs that had previously been given protection under EU rules, meaning they have to be produced using ingredients from their geographic origin and made to a certain recipe.


Hospitality. Pub group Mitchells & Butlers has warned its performance in the current year will “inevitably” be impacted by higher energy prices, rising wage costs and supply chain issues following Brexit. In a statement, it said, “Brexit remains an important event for the market and has created risks for the sector, principally around the supply and cost of products and workforce shortages.”


New customs controls. The Scottish Parliament’s Economy Committee have been told the logistics industry expressed “dismay” about new customs controls at the UK border which will begin in the new year. Robert Windsor, of the British International Freight Association, said: “My view and the association’s view is these are more significant impacts on the UK as a whole than what we saw on January 1 this year.”


Supermarket shelves. The CEO of the German discount chain Lidl’s UK arm has said while problems with availability of products in stores had eased in the past 10 to 12 weeks “daily hard work” was still required to ensure there were no gaps on shelves. Christian Härtnagel said the company was constantly having to seek new ways to work around problems, as a combination of the pandemic, Brexit and trade disruption continued to affect businesses.


New EU Entry rules. The new European Entry/Exit System (EES) coming in 2022 will use biometrics at the border to record people entering and leaving.  Millions of passengers in trains and cars, on ferries and travelling through the Tunnel will be required by EU law to submit fingerprints. Sally Hamwee, Chair of the Justice and Home Affairs Committee in the House of Lords fears the UK will not be ready in time.


Regional funding. Business groups and local councils are protesting at a hidden £1.65bn post-Brexit cut to development funding in the North. South Yorkshire is poised to lose £900m and Tees Valley and Durham £750m over six years, because the UK has left the EU, the groups have told Michael Gove.


Dover chaos. New EU rules monitoring entry to the Schengen Area would force lorry drivers and tourists to leave their vehicles for ID checks, leading to huge queues and traffic chaos at Dover. Kent MPs warned there was a danger of “large scale traffic disruption in Kent … on a continual basis”. The disruption would be as bad as if France closed the border, they said, criticising the EU plans as being more suited to airports than seaports.


Highland hotels. Some Scottish hotels are having to close the Highland tourist season early due to lack of staff. If the effects of Brexit are not mitigated by seasonal visas, next summer could be even worse, say workers. The Brexit drain on hospitality workers is particularly affecting larger hotels in remote locations where ­seasonal workers live on site and get room and board as part of their package.


Fast track visas.  The New Scientist claims not a single scientist has applied to a UK government visa scheme for Nobel prize laureates and other award winners since its launch six months ago. The fast-track visa route was launched in May for award-winners in the fields of science, engineering, the humanities and medicine. The scheme has come under criticism from scientists and has been described as “a joke”.


Construction. The construction industry is warning of post Brexit disruption due to a lack of approved bodies able to certify that products meet the new UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) safety standard which came into force in January 2021. The UKCA marking is the new UK product marking that covers most goods which previously required CE marking. CE marks will still be recognised up to 1 January 2023.


Travel services.  A combination of the pandemic and Brexit has tipped the travel service trade into an £18bn loss according to the latest ONS figures. Travel services exports fell nearly 67 per cent (£6.9bn)  in comparison to the second quarter in 2019 while import of travel services plunged over 80 per cent ( £11.9bn). Service exports to the bloc were more than 20 per cent lower than with non-EU countries.


Migrant crisis. The BBC are suggesting that concerns in No 10 about record numbers of migrants crossing the Channel are driven by the politics of Brexit. Ministers want to illustrate how Brexit has restored sovereignty and independence to the UK. Mark Easton says controlling borders requires international co-operation but with few bilateral deals in place, and outside the EU, Brexit has made the situation more complicated, not less.


Temporary imports. Spanish customs charged a holidaymaker 21 per cent duty (£340) on the value of three e-bikes imported temporarily into Spain. Anyone taking reasonably high-value goods from the UK to the EU is required to declare them and pay any tariffs due. Payment can be avoided by paying for a customs carnet although this would have cost £300 plus VAT.


Spanish property. For the first time, Germans have overtaken Britons for snapping up property on the Spanish Costas. The latest data from the Spanish College of Registrars shows that Germans bought 10.4 per cent of all properties purchased by foreigners in Spain during the third quarter of 2021, compared with 9.9 per cent for Britons.


Hospitality. A travel industry survey suggests Brexit red tape has caused a “severe” slump in the number of young people in Britain able to take advantage of seasonal work in the EU. The number of hospitality staff going to France for the winter season has dropped by 75 per cent, falling from 8,000 to 2,000 according to Seasonal Businesses in Travel.


Parcels to Ireland. An Post, the state-owned provider of postal services in Ireland has hit out at the British post office over delays being caused to packages coming into Ireland. The CEO said it was “maddening” that Britain’s Post Office will not implement new customs rules meaning thousands of parcels are getting stuck for weeks in An Post postal depots, causing huge frustration for consumers


Covid. A report by the National Audit Office has found the UK government was not properly prepared for a pandemic like Covid-19. It The report says the Cabinet Office allocated 56 of its 94 full-time emergency planning members of staff to prepare for potential disruptions from a no-deal Brexit, “limiting its ability” to plan for other crises.


Ryanair. Ryanair have confirmed they intend to delist from the London Stock Exchange due to high costs and the low number of trades being made and will just be listed on the Euronext Dublin exchange as of 18 December. The company said “The migration away from the LSE is consistent with a general trend for trading in shares of EU corporates post-Brexit.”


Holidays. The Telegraph are reporting that European holidays will be more expensive from the end of 2022. The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is due to be rolled out next year. The visa-waiver scheme means all third country nationals, including those from the UK, must fill in a form and pay a €7 ETIAS fee before travel into the Schengen area.


Composite food. In March next year, a transition period related to ‘composite food products’ comes to an end and UK exporters of pies and suchlike to the EU will be required to comply with EU rules. This will mean any ingredient of animal origin – including meat, milk and eggs – “must come from EU-approved establishments”, Emily Rees of Trade Strategies has told MPs.


Fishing. A row has broken out with Denmark. The UK is accused of breaching the post-Brexit fisheries deal over plans to ban bottom trawling at the Dogger Bank conservation zone in the North Sea, a move hailed by environmentalists hopeful of seeing a resurgence of halibut, sharks and skate in the zone. Denmark’s fisheries minister, Rasmus Prehn, said such plans were not in line with the post-Brexit deal.


Business risk. Brexit continues to be a major concern for British businesses, according to Aviva’s latest Risk Insight Report 2021. The survey of 1,251 businesses found that a quarter believe Brexit is one of the largest risks they face while fully 78 per cent said Brexit is the risk they are most worried about.


Visa credit cards. Amazon will stop accepting payments made using Visa credit cards issued in Britain from 19 January next year. UK customers buying products will still be able to use Visa debit cards, Mastercard and Amex credit cards as well as Visa credit cards issued outside Britain. MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis said that the move was “because Visa is increasing transaction rates now the EU cap no longer applies post Brexit.”


Trade with Ireland. latest figures from the Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show Brexit is continuing to impact Irish-British trade. Imports from Britain have plunged 21 per cent in the first 9 months. Goods exports from the Republic to Britain for the first nine months of 2021 is up 23 per cent and stands at €10.6 billion.  Trade with Northern Ireland has surged with exports up 48 per cent and imports up 60 per cent.


Music industry. Independent artists and labels say Brexit has had an “outrageous” impact in shipping music and merchandise to and from Europe with many UK acts and labels now finding it “kind of untenable to ship records to Europe.” This is reported in The New Musical Express (NME).


Trade. According to the latest UK Trade Policy Observatory (TPO) analysis, the terms of the EU-UK post Brexit trade deal caused an estimated combined hit to the UK economy of around £44 billion with £32.5 billion lost in potential imports to the UK and £11 billion in exports to the EU, from January to July 2021.


Tariffs. Although ostensibly the 2020 UK-EU trade deal eliminated tariffs on originating goods, the difficulty in meeting Rules of Origin which prove goods were made in the UK means exports to the EU worth between £7.89 billion and £10.56 billion incurred tariffs in the first seven months of the new trading conditions according to Sussex University’s Trade Policy Observatory.


School trips. The FT claims that post-Brexit immigration rules has led to a collapse in EU school trips to UK. Classes are no longer permitted to use a group passport, increasing the cost and paperwork involved in travelling. In the EU many pupils have only an ID card which is no longer accepted in the UK and any non-EU pupils also require a full visa.


Equine industry: The equine business is being killed by Brexit claims Olympic gold medal-winning rider Nick Skelton. He says, “It’s been catastrophic as far as the movement of horses to and from Europe is concerned”. Skelton used to train 60 European horse in Warwickshire but has now had to move the operation to Holland, because of the hassle and expense of moving horses across the Channel.


Gardeners: The Royal Horticultural Society has told EU subscribers that they will no longer be able to send their magazine The Gardener to Europe owing to a change in the VAT rules that came into effect on 1 July 2021 as a result of the UK no longer being part of the EU. The RHS cannot continue to post to EU members in a way that meets VAT rules, resulting in some subscribers receiving an additional bill from their local or national postal service.


Trade. More than one in ten small and medium-sized exporters (SMEs) have lost trade with the EU since Brexit, a survey by the Institute of Directors for Channel 4’s Dispatches shows. A quarter of SMEs that trade with the EU are now considering moving some of their European operations outside Britain while 16 per cent said they had already decided to move some or all into the single market due to Brexit


Relocations. Brexit has resulted in two regions of Belgium receiving a boost in inward investment. Flanders welcomed €2.4 billion and 2,755 new jobs, while 81 companies relocated since the UK withdrew from the EU. Wallonia received almost €358 million in investments, 539 new jobs and around 20 companies. This is reported in The Brussels Times


Air freight. DHL is to establish a new airline in Austria with 18 Boeing 757 freighters transferred from DHL’s UK division. UK carriers have had to restructure operations since Brexit because they no longer have the intra-EU freedoms granted to EU airlines.  The new airline, DHL Air Austria, based in Vienna will employ 176 pilots and 50 ground staff to handle scheduling, training and flight planning.


Refugees. Refugees in northern France say Brexit has made it easier for them to reach the UK in small boats, after record numbers of people crossed the Channel in one day. When part of the EU, under a mechanism known as Dublin the UK could ask other EU countries to take back people they could prove had passed through safe European countries before reaching the UK. [Ed: some people may see this as an upside]


Trade. Business experts from Loughborough University have told the House of Lords European Affairs Committee that Brexit started to affect UK trade as early as the 2015 General Election. A new report says Brexit had already reduced exports to the EU countries by 25 per cent by 2018, compared to what we would otherwise have expected. This is a much larger effect than the 15 per cent suggested by the OBR as the long term impact.


Marks & Spencer. Marks & Spencer has said it will increasingly use locally sourced food products to mitigate the impact of Brexit on its Irish operations. The supermarket chain said ongoing EU border issues, largely relating to its business in the Republic, has cost it around £13 million in the six months to October 2 2021. Food products arriving into the Republic from Britain have faced new checks in the post-Brexit era.


Supply problems. The National Institute of Economic & Social Research (NIESR) say short-run supply problems will persist, exacerbated by Brexit. The NIESR say our exit from the EU has acted to reduce the pool of labour, contributed to lower levels of firm investment than might otherwise have been the case, and led to some contraction in the size of our traded sector.


Irish customers. The Irish revenue has reminded consumers in Ireland to check whether the advertised price of goods includes all tax and duty costs due before making a decision to buy in the run up to Xmas. The Head of Revenue’s South East Frontier Management Branch, said: “customs formalities and, in certain circumstances, additional charges now apply to goods bought from the UK.”


Relocations. According to The New York Times, Estonia has experienced an influx of British technology businesses, contributing to a big jump in tax revenues and reinforcing the country’s reputation as a hub of innovation. Over 4,000 British firms helped to swell Estonian tax revenues by 60 percent compared to 2020, according to comments by prime minister, Kaja Kallas, in an interview with the British business newspaper City AM


Banks. The European Central Bank is increasing pressure on financial institutions to transfer UK staff and assets to the Continent after many put off moves because of Covid. The ECB has said that as covid recedes, banks need to relocate key individuals, those involved in continental business or risk people associated with such work, to the EU. The ECB is insisting banks based in Britain moving the legal location of EU trades while people and capital remain in London cannot continue.


Clearing: Pan-European exchange Euronext says it will clear all trades on its newly acquired Italian platform by 2024, helping the EU cut reliance on the London stock exchange for core financial activities after Brexit. Setting out Euronext’s strategic priorities to 2024, its CEO Stephane Boujnah said the group, which operates seven stock markets across Europe, would build on its acquisition of the Milan exchange earlier this year.


Trade. According to the Zimbabwe Herald, the UK’s investment of more than £1 billion “to smooth the passage of goods over its new post-Brexit border” has failed to prevent a 15 per cent slump in trade with the EU. The Herald points out this £1 billion is about a third of the amount Boris Johnson intends to spend on new hospitals over the next three years. The Welsh Government said, “the figures are indisputable…Wales now has less say over less money”


Wales. The Welsh Government has accused Westminster of shortchanging Wales with the announcement that Wales is to gets £46 million of funding in a pilot for the Community Renewal Fund for projects in Wales compared to the £375 million in structural funds that Wales received from the EU every year.


Trade. All of the new post-Brexit trade deals put together will have an economic benefit of just £3 to £7 per person over the next 15 years, according to the government’s own figures. Official estimates from the Office for Budget Responsibility point to a Brexit loss of over £1,250 per person over the coming years, over 178 times the most optimistic prediction for the benefits from the trade deals.


Erasmus. Scotland has received around £14 million less under the UK Government’s post- Brexit student exchange programme compared to the EU’s Erasmus+ scheme. Newly published figures show around £8.3m has been awarded in Scotland this academic year under the Turing Scheme, a replacement for the EU Erasmus programme. The total given in Scotland for successful applications under Erasmus in 2020 was around £22.6m (€26.4m).


Cornwall. Cornwall may only get a maximum of £3million from the Government to directly replace the £100m it could have been eligible for if the UK had remained in the EU, it has been claimed. Prior to Brexit, Cornwall had qualified for funding from the European Union due to it being recognised as one of the poorest regions in Europe.


Northern Ireland. Businesses in Northern Ireland are struggling to recruit enough staff and a failure to tackle the issue could see some industries leave, Manufacturing NI has warned.  Since the referendum in 2016 18,000 migrants have left the province and despite a growing population, it appears there are not enough people to fill the available jobs.


Red tape. A report by the National Audit Office says Britain’s international traders completed a total of 48 million customs declarations (UK-EU and UK- RoW) between January and August 2021, compared to 44 million for the whole of 2020. Traders will need to complete additional declarations as full import controls are phased in between October 2021 and July 2022. Certifying officers have also signed off 140,000 Export Health Certificates (EHCs) for the movement of goods from the UK to the EU.


London Stock Exchange (LSE). Worries about political and exchange-rate risk have dragged down the valuations of LSE listed companies and share-trading has plummeted since 2007. The number of listed companies has dropped by two-fifths. The entire FTSE 100 index is now worth about the same as Microsoft.  Flotations in the first nine months of 2021 have been half Hong Kong’s, two fifths of Shanghai’s and an eighth of New York’s. They’re less even than Shenzhen’s, a place that was a building site at the time of the Big Bang in 1986, with Brexit partly to blame according to The Times.


Cost of living. Lord Heseltine, the former Conservative Deputy Prime Minister, says Boris Johnson’s failed Brexit deal has caused a cost of living crisis. The peer blames Johnson for fuel shortages, NHS backlogs and Christmas turkey shortages. He warns that Britain faces harsh months of lower living standards.


High Street retailers. Three in four UK high-street firms have been hit by Brexit related supply issues. New research suggests the government’s hard Brexit has been felt by three-quarters of UK high-street firms. A survey of 1000 business found lost orders or delayed deliveries had affected the vast majority of firms.


Fish prices. Fishmongers buying fish from the continent have noticed prices rising since Brexit came into force. Prices for sardines, red mullet and octopus have all increased according to one London fishmonger.  Mack Naboulsi, owner of Pure Fisheries in Chapel Market said fish stocks have also become more scarce, adding, “There are even some fish I can’t get anymore.”


EU Trade. A new report by the National Audit Office says total trade in goods between the UK and EU was down by 15 per cent (£17.0 billion) in Q2 when compared with the equivalent quarter in 2018 (which the ONS uses as a comparator year), whereas UK trade with the rest of the world was up by 1.0 per cent (£1.0 billion) pointing clearly to the effect of Brexit.


Meat. UK meat producers are sending carcasses to the EU for butchering before re-importing them as they continue to combat a labour shortage. The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) say producers are sending beef to the Republic of Ireland amid local shortages of butchers while pork producers are set to begin sending pigs to the Netherlands for butchering and packing.


Salmon. A Scottish seafood processing firm, which supplies fish to the Queen, says it is losing business because of labour shortages blamed on Brexit. Christopher Leigh, CEO of Aberdeen based John Ross Jr, claims the current workforce crisis “cannot be overcome without intervention from government”. Since Brexit, the firm has struggled to attract the staff required to fulfil international orders, with many EU nationals choosing to return to mainland Europe.


Ryanair. Ryanair Holdings Plc is poised to drop its London Stock Exchange listing, becoming the first major company to blame its departure on Brexit. The Irish discount airline said Monday that it is weighing a delisting due to compliance headaches caused by Britain’s exit from the European Union. A growing number of companies are disappearing from the London stock market for a variety of reasons.


Steel. British steel makers have been excluded from an agreement between the EU and the USA to end a trade war that saw punitive tariffs applied to EU steel exports, putting British steelmakers at a competitive disadvantage. The US is the second-largest market for British-made steel. European rivals will now be able to ship their products to the US without paying import taxes.

October 2021Bootstrap

Vegetables. A third of Scotland’s largest brassica crop worth more than £1 million has been left to rot in the field because Brexit ended access for seasonal pickers. Costs will rise next year and production will shrink as a result, farmers predict.  And Scotland’s iconic food producers are facing “catastrophic failure” to protect their status in UK Government trade deals.


Construction. Industry experts say the government’s goal of building 300,000 homes a year cannot be achieved without easing immigrant visas and promoting extensive training in the country. Brexit has revealed how much Britain’s construction sector relied on its immigrant labour.  Jerry Swain, of the Unite Union, said: “The industry has relied on foreign workers. It takes at least two years to make a decent brickworker or carpenter, so the pools available are currently limited.”


Climate change. The government’s decision to slash tax on domestic flights was driven by a desire to make Brexit look successful, the chair of the Climate Change Committee Lord Deben, has claimed. He told Sky News’s Trevor Phillips that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget measure, which has been criticised by climate campaigners and the Labour Party, was motivated by Brexit.


Development funding. Almost £2bn has been slashed from promised development spending in poorer areas of the UK, despite Boris Johnson’s vow to “level up” the country. The government had pledged to match lost EU funding – to “tackle inequality and deprivation” – which would have required at least £4.5bn over the next three years but the budget has revealed just £2.6bn has been allocated.


Farming subsidies. Farmers in Cumbria are being warned that over the next three years 50 percent of farms could see their profit wiped out. While most may break even, many will be running at a loss once the subsidies are cut as the Basic Payment Scheme is phased out between 2021 and 2028, meaning farmers could lose between 50-70 percent of their subsidy by 2024.


Climate change. A shift in trade links away from the EU to more distant partners like Australia, China and the US could almost double Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions from shipping, according to new analysis by Friends of the Earth released on the eve of the UN Cop26 gathering hosted by Boris Johnson in Glasgow.


Shortages. Brexit has worsened UK’s shortages, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), the government’s own independent financial watchdog. Shortages across various industries have been “exacerbated” by new immigration rules for EU citizens and trade barriers with the bloc.


Trade. A survey by The Food and Drink Federation shows GB food manufacturers have significantly reduced sales to Northern Ireland as a result of the Protocol. The FDF surveyed 83 members between 4 and 19 October and found in large businesses, those with more than 250 employees, sales volumes to Northern Ireland were down by an average of 10 per cent this year.


Irish imorts from UK. New figures from the Irish Department of Agriculture shows there has been a 20-fold increase in the number of consignments of food and plant products and live animals being processed by health inspectors at Irish ports since Brexit.  Inspectors are processing about 1,700 consignments a week compared with less than 100 a week last year under new border controls covering sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) checks on goods being imported from Britain.


UK meat producers.  Major UK meat processors were reportedly flying in staff from Ireland to man processing lines to cope with demand.  This follows a combination of Brexit and Covid-19 which has sparked an exodus of eastern European workers from abattoirs, damaging the industry and leading to shortages.


Litigation: UK businesses are now having to pay ‘security bonds’ of £50,000 or more to courts in the European Union in order to litigate there, legal experts have told City AM. The bonds could make it more difficult and costly for UK businesses to defend their intellectual property in European countries, according to law firm Mathys & Squire.


Horizon: Sir Bill Cash, chair of the European scrutiny committee, has said UK scientists are being “frozen out” of the £80bn EU research programme Horizon Europe because of the ongoing dispute over the Northern Ireland protocol. Britain’s associate membership of Horizon has still not been ratified by the EU.


Welsh Ports: The BBC report comments from the Irish foreign minister that Welsh ports are being “bypassed by Irish ferries.” Irish hauliers are no longer using the UK land bridge to Europe but are increasingly using the 44 ferry services (up from fewer than 12 in 2020) to deliver goods into and out of the EU.


Recycling.  US trainer maker Nike has shelved its UK recycling scheme due to higher costs arising from Brexit. The Reuse-a-Shoe scheme saw old trainers shipped to Belgium for recycling into rubber for use in track surfaces, gym flooring and new footwear. Brexit and EU export tariffs and increased haulage rates mean the scheme is no longer economically viable to run.


Sewage. The government has given polluters the green light to dump untreated sewage into Britain’s rivers and coastal waters as Brexit and Covid disrupt normal water treatment. The Environment Agency said in September companies struggling to get hold of the required chemicals would be allowed to “discharge effluent without meeting the conditions” of their permits, which normally require water to be treated by a multi-step process.


Carers.  Disabled people are struggling to hire carers to help with vital daily tasks due to low pay and Brexit, the Observer claims. According to a report published earlier this month, an estimated 70,000 live-in carers and personal assistants are normally employed but recruitment into the sector has fallen dramatically after 1 July this year when the settled status regime was fully implemented.


Farming. British farmers are being forced to slash production next year because of a massive shortfall in workers that has caused an “unprecedented” amount of food to be thrown into landfill in 2021. The crunch is set to come when imports of produce from the EU are under increased strain due to the introduction of border controls and checks which have been repeatedly postponed after Brexit.


Supermarkets. Supermarkets are using cardboard cut-outs of fruit and vegetables to fill gaps on shelves because supply problems combined with a shift towards smaller product ranges mean many stores are now too big, a process said to have “only been accelerated by Brexit and the pandemic which have led to staff shortages and difficulties in shipping goods.”


Shellfish. The forthcoming trade deal with New Zealand will “slash tariffs” on New Zealand mussels, described as “another slap in the face” to an industry devastated by the loss of its major EU market after Brexit. David Jarrad of the Shellfish Association of Great Britain said it was “another nail in the lid of a coffin that is already closing.”


Trade.  The food and drink federation report a fall in Britain’s exports to the EU of 15.9 per cent in the first half of this year when compared to the same period in 2020, and 27.4 per cent  compared to 2019. Exports to the Republic of Ireland, our biggest export market, fell significantly with a loss of 22 percent compared to 2020, and 27 per cent compared to pre-COVID data – a loss of more than £0.5bn.


IPOs.  Fifteen years ago, a fifth of all companies globally that went public via a placing, chose London. Now London’s share of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) on a global basis has plummeted to 4 per cent. The reasons are varied, but the main factors include Brexit-induced political and currency risk.


English teachers: It’s easier post-Brexit for Irish people to get a job teaching English in the EU according to TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language). They say European demand for teachers from the Republic of Ireland has “increased dramatically” amid the fallout from the UK’s departure from the EU.


Meat producers: The recent decision to further postpone import controls on meat imported from the EU “has handed the EU a nice Brexit dividend”, says the British Meat Producers Association. UK exporters, since January this year, have had to shoulder a paperwork burden that has doubled the end-to-end costs of exporting, adding £40m to trade with the EU, say the BMPA.


Lost crops. A Warwickshire farmer has told Coventry Live he has been forced to dump acres of crops over the past month because of an unprecedented shortage of pickers due to visa restrictions since Brexit – citing a lack of skilled British pickers to meet the demand in the field. He said, “We are not going to grow labour intensive crops next year, we’re going to cut back as much as we can. We’re scrapping courgettes, cherry tomatoes and chillies, we can’t grow these crops because it’s not profitable anymore.”


Vets. Veterinary services provider Eville & Jones say Wales was the worst region in the UK to be affected by the slump in the number of vets available to carry out key roles after Brexit. The UK produces only about 900 veterinary graduates each year compared to a requirement for 2,000 new posts to be filled annually.


Trade with Ireland.  The Irish Statistics Office say exports to GB in the first eight months of 2021 increased by €1,603 million (+21%) compared to the same period last year, while imports from GB decreased by €3,179 million (-30%). Imports from Northern Ireland rose by €947 million (+61%) to €2,500 million and exports to Northern Ireland increase by €707 million (+47%).


Packaging materials. The Packaging Federation have said it is now too late to avert temporary shortages of cardboard and aluminium cans this autumn. CEO Dick Searle, who has worked in the sector for 55 years, said alongside Brexit and pandemic disruption, businesses are facing a “perfect storm” of problems. “Brexit would have been difficult but Covid and Brexit together has made it much more difficult,” he said.


Recovery stalling. Chambers of commerce across West and North Yorkshire say their quarterly economic survey shows the pace of recovery slowing in the region. Additional bureaucracy, border delays and transportation costs continue to cause problems for one in two manufacturers exporting to the EU.


The landbridge.  A new Irish ferry terminal has been inaugurated at the French ferry port of Dunkirk.  The number of Ireland-France sea routes has increased to 44, from 12 before Brexit, as Irish importers and exporters side step the UK landbridge.  The new terminal has already handled nearly 50,000 freight units (trucks and unaccompanied containers) moving from Rosslare and back since Brexit took effect on 1 January.


Student numbers. UCAS data published in August has found the number of EU students who were placed on 2021/22 courses has plunged 56 per cent compared with the previous session. A post-Brexit collapse in EU student recruitment could threaten courses at world-famous institutions such as the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, it was claimed.


Car exports. Volatile energy prices and the cost of complying with EU regulations post-Brexit are blunting the industry’s competitive advantage, the sector’s trade body has said.  The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) say costs, measured in time and resources, had increased as a result of leaving the EU, with 60 per cent saying the extra expense for trading with the bloc was a “much more significant rise than other export destinations”.


Inflation. The latest Royal Bank of Scotland purchasing managers index (PMI) suggest companies are having to pass on the rising costs of materials, pay, logistics, Covid and Brexit. Costs were reported to be rising at their quickest rate since 2008 and RBS said firms raised average charges “to a degree unseen” in two decades.


Export slump. Details published by HM Revenue & Customs show that, from the period ending June 2021, Scottish exports decreased by 14 per cent compared to the previous year – the highest in the UK. The SNP say Boris Johnson must answer for the “catastrophic economic vandalism” created by Brexit.


Entertainers. British opera singer Dame Sarah Connolly has warned that Britain will lose its placing among the world’s leading musical nations if younger performers and instrumentalists are not easily able to work abroad again.  She says, “Without some kind of situation where British musicians can spend a significant amount of time in Europe, establishing their careers, I am very concerned that [we will lose] what we have at the moment.”


Film industry. The television producer behind HBO’s Game of Thrones has blamed Brexit complications as the reason why a new German science-fiction drama is not being filmed in Northern Ireland. Frank Doelger said, “All of the rules and regulations about equipment going back and forth, transport from Northern Ireland, became something much more complicated.”


Food shortages. New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest 17 per cent of adults claimed to have been unable to buy essential food items in the last fortnight because they were not available, representing up to eight million people. Almost a quarter said the same for non-essential food items.



Bank payments. British banks face IBAN payment issues across EU as GB payments begin to be refused. IBAN is an EU system for identifying bank accounts across national borders. Many users report discrimination being a major problem as a number of companies across Europe began to refuse Euro account bank details “if they contained the country code ‘GB’” according to a report in City AM.


Milk. Some British dairy farmers have been forced to destroy tens of thousands of litres of milk due to rising costs, labour shortages and an acute deficit of truck drivers which has strained supply chains to breaking point, farmers said. A post-Brexit shortage of workers exacerbated by the global strains of the COVID crisis has sown chaos through supply chains according to Reuters.


Cruise ship workers. Cruise ship workers are leaving the industry in droves due to crippling post-Brexit visa rules, a veteran of the industry has claimed. Jean Williams tells The Mirror says her life is being ‘destroyed’ and the livelihoods of many of her friends ‘sacrificed’ thanks to new employment rules which mean many cruise firms are refusing to hire British workers.


Shortbread biscuits. Walker’s Shortbread in Scotland is facing a labour shortage crisis due to Brexit. The well-known 123-year-old brand famous for its tartan souvenir tins, faces a shortfall of 200 workers following the pandemic and Brexit. Joint MD Jim Walker said: “We were hoping to make a good recovery this year, but we are now in a situation where we are very short of staff.


Computer chips. The boss of Intel says they are no longer considering building a factory in the UK because of Brexit. CEO Pat Gelsinger told the BBC that before the UK left the EU, the country “would have been a site that we would have considered” but “Post-Brexit… we’re looking at EU countries and getting support from the EU”.


Tesco. Tesco is turning to Spanish farmers to supply British consumers with their Christmas food, increasing the number of rail containers of fresh produce from the country from 65,000 to 90,000 by the end of the year.  Tesco CEO, Ken Murphy, said on Wednesday that the supermarket had ordered ten percent more turkeys this year to mitigate any problems.


Vegetables. Farmers are having to pay up to £30 an hour for picking vegetables as the shortage of workers raises the prospect of Britain having to import more fresh produce next year. The British Growers Association says that seasonal agricultural workers can now earn £1,000 a week, the equivalent of more than £50,000 a year pro rata. Jack Ward, CEO of the association said: “It’s been a complete nightmare, there’s intense competition for labour with all sorts of other industries and lots of reports of people poaching labour off farms to work in the hospitality industry.”


Daffodils. Daffodil growers have been forced to let nearly 300 million plants rot in the ground this year due to a lack of pickers caused by Brexit and the pandemic. Farmers warning that unless critical labour shortages are solved before next year’s harvest, many will stop growing the bulbs. Cornwall, which supplies nine out of ten daffodils grown in the UK has been particularly badly hit.


Expats. British expats are leaving Spain “in droves” as more stringent immigration rules apply after Brexit, The Daily Express report. UK citizens can now only visit Spain without a visa for up to three months for tourism and business purposes. Earlier this month, Britons who have been rejected for residency in Spain were given just 15 days to leave the country, and told they risk being classified as illegal.


Turkeys. Christmas turkeys are to be imported from France and Poland to make up for the shortfall in UK production after farmers reared 1 million fewer birds due to labour shortages. In the past UK farmers were able to meet 100 per cent of domestic demand but now supermarkets have been forced to buy from the EU.


Stagflation. A sharp slowdown in growth in Britain’s manufacturing industry caused by shortages has prompted Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit, a producer of a closely watched economic survey, to warn “the UK [is] descending towards a bout of ‘stagflation’.” This is a combination of the low growth and high inflation Britain suffered in the 1970s.


Bus services. Stagecoach East Midlands says it is “working round the clock” to tackle staff shortages that are causing Lincolnshire bus services in Skegness and Lincoln to be temporarily cancelled or altered , as the impact of Brexit continues to affect business.


Mass cull of pigs. An acute shortage of butchers and slaughterers in the meat processing industry, exacerbated by COVID-19 and Britain’s post-Brexit immigration policy means hundreds of thousands of pigs may have to be culled within weeks unless the government issues visas to allow more butchers into the country.


Fishing industry. The Brexit trade deal hailed as a £148 million boost to the UK fishing fleet over the next five years will instead cost the industry more than £300m, according to a new report by a former DEFRA official. Britain’s fishing fleet is on track to lose nearly £65m a year as a result of the UK-EU trade deal.


Pharmacies. The shortage of HGV drivers is beginning to affect pharmacies with, “The whole supply chain [being] impacted from inbound wholesale depot supply down to outward depot deliveries to pharmacies,” according to a spokeswoman for the association which represents large pharmacy operators.


Banking and finance. The exodus of talent from London to the EU is causing problems in The City with fewer EU national candidates in London now. So says the head of one recruitment agency in the City – “Hundreds of transfers out of London are being completed as COVID travel restrictions lift and it’s exacerbating the shortage of talent – especially at junior levels.”


Paris. The city has become one of the hottest job markets in Europe for finance professionals. France’s biggest investment banks are dangling pay bumps and flexible work arrangements to retain top performers. And the days when junior bankers in France were paid less than their UK counterparts may soon become history.  JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, have all beefed up operations in Paris post-Brexit.

September 2021Bootstrap

Price rises. UK shop prices rose 0.4% month-on-month in August according to the British Retail Consortium. CEO Helen Dickinson said “Food retailers are fighting to keep their prices down as far as possible. But mounting pressures – from rising commodity and shipping costs as well as Brexit-related red tape, mean this will not be sustainable for much longer, and food price rises are likely in the coming months.”


Turkeys. Brexit could cause widespread turkey shortages at Christmas, according to the chair of the Traditional Farm Fresh Turkey Association (TFTA). Kate Martin says supermarket shelves are likely to be hit by a shortage of skilled European employees who are no longer available to us.


Petrol supplies. Some BP and Esso petrol stations in the UK have temporarily closed, with warning of shortages due to a combination of factors, including Brexit, covid and systemic conditions in the industry which have led to a shortage of qualified HGV drivers.


Hospitality prices: Data from a business confidence survey has found hospitality businesses face a storm of supply chain problems and rising costs, and three-quarters of them are likely to raise prices for consumers as a result of the inflationary impact of covid and Brexit.


Passports: UK travellers to Europe could be refused entry if their passport is more than 10 years old from the date of issue, even if there are 12 months left on the passport. The new rule has meant that many disappointed travellers have either had to miss out on a holiday, or pay hundreds of pounds for a fast track passport.


Christmas trees: According to retailer, new Brexit rules, soaring prices and lack of labour have made importing trees more difficult and they warn of a potential shortage of UK grown trees this year.


Bonfire night. A Doncaster wholesaler is predicting a 70 per cent plunge in the industry-wide stock of fireworks, blaming changes to product certification post-Brexit, a shortage of labour and increased checks on imports. Richard Hogg, shop manager at Fireworks Kingdom, said importing fireworks had become “very difficult and unstable in the wake of Brexit.”


Next year’s harvest. UK fruit and vegetable growers plan to reduce planting for 2022 after unprecedented labour shortages led to widespread wastage of produce, with hundreds of tonnes of crops from broccoli to raspberries left to rot in the fields, according to the FT.


Tomatoes. Thanet Earth, one of the UK’s largest salad growing companies based in Kent, have had to destroy £320,000 of stock because of problems finding workers to pick and drivers to deliver their produce, according to local Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale speaking in the House of Commons.


Strawberries.  Sharrington Strawberries in Norfolk have lost 20 per cent of their crop this year which remains unharvested after losing a third of their seasonal workforce following Brexit despite paying up to 50pc more in wages.


The City of London. The City is being warned to brace itself for a €900bn per day (this is not a typo) Brexit hit if Brussels ‘plays politics’ with clearing of euro-denominated derivatives in London says City AM commentator Michiel Willems.


M&S. After announcing the closure of 11 stores in France, Marks & Spencer has been forced to cut 800 lines from its stores in the Republic of Ireland, including items like free-range chicken, orchids and goods containing Parmesan Reggiano as a result of complex rules and excessive paperwork caused by Brexit.


Local Authorities. The cost of creating two new day centres to tackle dementia issues in Kirklees has jumped by almost a third: from £8m to £11m. The increase has been blamed by The Local Democracy Reporting Service on “significant rises in construction materials associated with Covid and Brexit.”


Increased duty. UK businesses and consumers have paid 42 per cent more in customs duties on goods since Brexit came into force on 1 January of this year. The jump to £2.2 billion is a new record coming mainly as a result of goods imported from the EU failing to meet rules of origin. The figures were obtained by accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young.


Energy costs. Having left the EU internal energy market and the day-ahead market coupling arrangements, imported power via the continental interconnectors is now by explicit auction and is likely to result in higher electricity prices for UK consumers in future according to research by energy consultants EnAppSys.


Blood tests. The British Medical Association is warning of a ‘catastrophic’ crisis in blood testing as the NHS struggles with a shortage of vials used for blood sample. The main manufacturer, Becton Dickinson, has been blamed for the crisis, but they have suggested the post-Brexit HGV driver shortage could be to blame.


Driving standards. The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that HGV driving tests are to be relaxed to allow 50,000 more to be taken in an attempt to tackle the shortage of lorry drivers ahead of Christmas. For example, reversing, uncoupling and recoupling trailer tests will removed – and drivers will be tested separately on this by a third party.


Pollution. The Environment Agency has advised polluters that dumping raw sewage into rivers and the sea will be allowed as the discharge of effluent “without meeting the conditions” of their permits. It comes as businesses struggle to obtain water treatment chemicals because of supply chain disruption at ports blamed primarily on Britain’s departure from the EU.


Construction. Jewson, one of Britain’s biggest builders’ merchants has warned of shortages of materials as the industry struggles under mounting pressure from the deepest supply chain crisis in decades.  It comes amid growing disruption linked to Covid and Brexit. “Material and staff costs went through the roof” due to “employee moves [and] overseas worker availability” said Duncan Brock of The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).


Housing. Brexit is being blamed for making the building of affordable homes on a Derbyshire housing site ‘unviable’. Langridge Homes says providing affordable homes on a 47-house scheme at Riddings is not viable after “unprecedented” 24 per cent post Brexit cost increases.


Pigs. Farmers may be forced to incinerate nearly 100,000 pigs due to a post-Brexit shortage of butchers after the profession was excluded from a list of so-called ‘Shortage Occupations.’ Industry figures say slaughterhouses are already becoming starved of qualified workers, with a backlog of 85,000 pigs awaiting slaughter and growing by 15,000 every week.


School meals. Schools have been warned to prepare for food shortages ahead of the new school year and urged by wholesalers to “stock up” according to The Grocer. The Federation of Wholesale Distributors has again called on the government to look at introducing a temporary visa scheme to allow HGV drivers from the EU to fill vacancies.


Ikea. The home furnishings retailer Ikea is struggling to supply around 1,000 product lines to UK customers due to Brexit and lorry driver shortage with all 22 UK stores experiencing ‘ongoing challenges’ with supply chains, according to The Independent.


Coca Cola. LBC claim we may experience a shortage of Diet Coke and Coke Zero in shops as Coca-Cola issued a warning about availability of aluminium cans, the latest in a series of supply chain issues that have affected UK consumers, blamed widely on Brexit, Covid-19 and a lack of available qualified lorry drivers in the UK.


Food exports. Exports of food and drink to the EU have suffered a “disastrous” decline in the first half of the year because of Brexit trade barriers, with sales of beef and cheese hit hardest the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) say.  Producers lost £2bn in sales, a dent in revenue that could not be compensated for by the increased sales in the same period to non-EU countries including China and Australia.


House plants. House plants such as aspidistra, yucca and cactus have become more expensive because of Brexit red tape, as garden centres warn new rules have made it more difficult to import stock according to the Horticultural Trades Association and reported by The Daily Telegraph (£).


Beer: Wetherspoons has been hit by beer shortages due to supply chain issues caused by Brexit. The company said supplies of Carling and Coors beer have been hit, with some pubs not receiving deliveries and they have blamed lorry driver and factory staff shortages, LBC report.


Rising prices: Food prices are set to rise later this year as the shortage of lorry drivers and more regulatory checks on imported food combine with rising prices for fuel, freight and raw materials, experts have warned in a report in The Financial Times (£).


Rising prices: Food prices are set to rise later this year as the shortage of lorry drivers and more regulatory checks on imported food combine with rising prices for fuel, freight and raw materials, experts have warned in a report in The Financial Times (£).


Books. Authors Hilary Mantel and William Boyd have issued a stark warning that the UK book industry faces collapse if “disgraceful” post-Brexit changes to copyright rules, being considered by the government, go ahead.


Christmas workers. A shortage of fruit pickers in the UK is set to spread to warehouse workers in the run-up to Christmas, according to Gary Grant, head of toy chain The Entertainer. Mr Grant said a workforce of largely eastern European migrants work on farms in the summer and swap to picking boxes in warehouses later in the year.

August 2021Bootstrap

Paperwork: The boss of lawnmower manufacturer Allets, says they have had “more paperwork in the last five months than they did in the previous five years, as far as exports are concerned” and the company has had to recruit an employee to look after the “hell” of post-Brexit red tape.


Christmas: The head of the Co-op supermarket said on Wednesday that current food shortages were the worst he had ever seen, while the boss of the Iceland frozen food chain warned that supply disruption could see Christmas “cancelled” for some families this year.


GB Stickers. From 31 September British cars in Europe must display a UK sticker instead of the old GB plate. This is said to be a sign of solidarity with Northern Ireland, which is not part of GB. The change has not been formally announced but was spotted as a footnote in UN regulations by the AA, which says it has 50,000 items of stock it will now need to change.


Shortages. The UK economy has been plunged into a supply chain crisis, with major retailers’ stock levels at their the lowest since 1983 as a result of worker shortages and transport disruption caused by Covid and Brexit. This is reported in The Guardian using retail industry tracking trends provided by the CBI.


SMEs. Nearly a third of medium-sized businesses plan to drastically change their operations to cope with the new post-Brexit UK-EU trading relationship, according to a report in CityAM. Research by accountancy firm BDO reveals 32 per cent of mid-sized businesses think they need to alter their business model to remain viable.


Students. Students due to start a university year in Spain, which has overtaken France as the top destination for UK students, face visa delays, with some unsure whether they will be able to take up their places this year. Brexit means they now need visas. Some have waited more than a month for a visa appointment.


Labour shortages. Avara Foods, a chicken and turkey supplier, has told Sky News: “Our company is not currently experiencing any significant inconvenience regarding the ‘pingdemic’. Our concern is recruitment and filling vacancies when the UK workforce has been severely depleted as a result of Brexit; this is causing stress on UK supply chains in multiple sectors.”


Loss of EU funding. Wales is being hardest hit by the post Brexit loss of EU Structural Funds, latest figures have shown. The £373 million lost by Wales is more than double that of Scotland (£125m) and most of the English regions that have previously received European Union support, making a mockery of the government’s ‘levelling up agenda,’ say Labour.


Brain drain. Nearly half of British business leaders fear losing the UK’s best talent abroad following the pandemic and Brexit, according to new research.  Almost a third of respondents at mid- and junior-level said in the survey by MovePlan, a workplace change management provider, and headhunter Hanson Search, that they feel pessimistic about the UK’s chances to compete for the best talent and attract global businesses post Brexit.


Loss of EU funding. So called ‘Red Wall’ and other poorer areas of England will lose up to £1bn of development cash this year because of Brexit and despite promises to match EU grants. Just £220m is being made available across the whole of the UK for 2021-22 and no money has yet been handed out at all – even though the financial year is nearly halfway over.


Kent. Operation Brock, a temporary traffic management system designed to cope with queues of lorries heading for the EU, due to end by October 2021, is being made permanent, signalling the government expects further cross-Channel disruption.


Roaming charges. Vodafone, the UK’s third largest mobile phone provider, will reintroduce roaming charges of up to £2 a day for new and upgrading UK customers who travel in mainland Europe from next year. Customers travelling to Ireland will be exempt. EE and O2 have already announced changes to their roaming charges for European travel.


Immigration.  The UK’s new net migration statistics show it has gone up to 313,000 over the past year to March, a rise of about one-third from 221,000 a year ago fuelled by 715,000 people who came to the UK over the previous 12 months. This is a four-year high of migration from non-EU countries, where the UK has tighter controls. Getting Brexit done has not seen immigration go down; it has driven it up.


Pets. The cost of an Animal Health Certificate issued by an Official Veterinarian, required in order to take your pet to an EU member state, is £180 takes ten days to obtain and is valid for four months.  See also item 10 below.


Staff shortages. A garden centre in Plymouth is being forced to give away £100k worth of plants for free this weekend due to staff shortages. Team leader Matt Pollard says: “With the advent of Brexit and the departure of many European staff from the UK, we are suffering the same problem as many other businesses in the South West in finding suitable staff who want to work.”


Hospitality. More than 90,000 EU workers have left the UK in a mass Brexit exodus, according to The Daily Express. The hospitality sector took a huge hit over the past year due to the UK leaving the EU with the number of vacancies soaring by 342 per cent based on figures from the jobs site


Fishing. Government boasts about increased fishing quotas have been branded “codswallop” by industry experts. While quotas have increased the amount being caught has not, because the fish “don’t exist.” Terri Portmann, who advised MPs after Brexit, said: “Fishermen have been stitched up.”


Logistics. Brexit has damaged the UK’s position as a gateway to Europe for imported goods and increased red tape according to Robert Larkin, director of Med Freight Services near London. Goods destined for Europe, which once arrived in the UK, now get shipped directly to the EU.


Japanese Investment. Netherlands was the top destination for Japanese direct foreign investment into financial services in the years 2017-2020 with nearly US$12bn compared to net disinvestment in UK of just over US$4bn while jobs in UK Japanese financial services companies grew 9% over same period.


Standards. Components for cars and fridges could fall into a legal limbo as Brexit red tape holds up supply chains due to a lack of capacity for testing certain goods ahead of the January 1 2022 UKCA compliance deadline. Manufacturing is at risk from serious disruption because the government has failed to provide a suitable replacement for the EU’s CE safety standards system.


Clearing. UK financial regulators appear resigned to losing access to the EU market next year when a temporary equivalence agreement comes to an end. London based clearinghouses may have to offload EU banks and their clients, losing £millions, if not £billions, in revenue by cutting off overnight an entire bloc worth of swaps that need to be traded via a clearinghouse.


Travellers. From the end of 2022 UK travellers to EU member states will have to get authorisation and pay €7 to enter the EU’s Schengen zone. The fee will cover multiple visits over a three years period. The EU have announced that its European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is on track.


Poultry. Soanes Poultry near Market Weighton has had to cut back its production by around ten per cent cent because of the twin impacts of the UK’s departure from the EU and the pandemic. The normal 100-strong workforce had shrunk by as much as 20 per cent, mainly because migrant workers from EU countries had gone back home after Brexit and had not returned.


Pumpkins. Freshlands Farm, based in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire, said it had lost tens of thousands of pumpkins as it had not been able to hire any workers to clear weeds from the fields. In just one field the company had lost half of the 90,000 pumpkins due to weeds.


Vegetables.  One of the UK’s biggest vegetable producers says it is losing thousands of pounds a week and having to throw away food due to a labour shortage with Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit to blame. The workforce at Alfred G Pearce, based near King’s Lynn, Norfolk, is 20% to 30% down on previous years.


Ex pats. British expats in Cyprus are tasting the bitter side of the UK exiting the European Union as they fall victim to Brexit red tape. Lengthy bureaucratic procedures, increasingly difficult transportation, and higher taxes, topped up by coronavirus restrictions, has seen them deprived of their favourite UK made delicacies.


Trade. The North East England Chamber of Commerce has written to Boris Johnson to say that Brexit has led to a drop in exports as well as difficulties such as shortage of HGV drivers and increased costs related to added bureaucracy. They fear further damage if the UK deviates too far from EU regulations.


Trade. Seven months after Britain’s exit from the EU, the chilly effects on UK trade are being felt. Total exports of UK goods and services were down by 13% (£36 billion) and imports down 22% (£66 billion) for January to May 2021 compared to the same period in 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).


M&S Sandwiches. The chairman of Marks & Spencer, Archie Norman, has said that exports of its popular gourmet sandwiches to its stores in France could stop altogether, if Brexit results in border challenges, the Financial Times has reported.  Norman said that as its products are transported to France every day through the Channel Tunnel, additional border complications could see supply cut off.


Milk. Supermarkets could face a “summer of disruption” to milk deliveries if widespread driver shortages continue. Arla Foods, the UK’s biggest dairy supplier, was unable to deliver to 600 shops last Saturday due to dwindling driver numbers, amid fierce competition for specialist HGV drivers caused by a mix of Brexit, the pandemic and tax changes that have prompted some drivers to leave the trade.


Vets. The UK is facing a critical shortage of vets, set to intensify as new EU export rules kick in, industry insiders have warned. The number of EU vets arriving in Britain – which has traditionally plugged the shortfall in UK-trained vets – has dropped dramatically compounded by a surge in pet ownership in the past 18 months and Brexit rules demanding more vets to sign export health certificates.


Food shortages.  Disruption to supplies in Scottish shops and restaurants are largely due to Brexit – not the “pingdemic” – say independent food retailers. They report that one major issue is hauliers from the EU have cut the UK from their routes. Some suppliers in European countries are also finding other buyers for their produce, because of the costs involved in post-Brexit paperwork.

July 2021Bootstrap

Law & Justice. The EU has barred Britain from joining a European accord for recognising civil court rulings, a move that could bump up costs for individuals and small companies seeking legal redress abroad. Britain’s membership of the accord, known as the Lugano Convention, ended in December last year and an application to rejoin had been rejected (see 145 below).


The cost of Brexit. While £4.8billion has been allocated by the government to the new Levelling Up Fund, some £12billion has been spent on the logistics of being out of the EU, plus an estimated £40billion in lost trade with Europe since the end of January and £130billion wasted on Brexit from 2016-2020, means up more than 38  times the amount being spent on Brexit than levelling up.


HGV driver shortage. A leading haulage group based in Wales has pleaded for help over the worst driver shortage the company has seen in its 50-year history, and blames Brexit. “The driver situation is in crisis, it’s a problem that has been smoking for a number of years and now we are on fire,” said Ian Owen, managing director of Owens Group.


The cost of Brexit. A new analysis by The Centre for European Reform estimates that leaving the single market and customs union at the end of December 2020 had reduced UK trade by £10 billion, or 13.5 per cent, in May. The think tank said this was on top of a £8 billion, or 10 per cent, hit to trade between the June 2016 referendum and splintering away from the single market.


EU workers. A recruitment agency in Leicester warns of a big shortfall in EU workers coming to the UK. Ed Vigars operations director at Encore Personnel, said, ‘EU workers have left and aren’t returning…we’ve never seen anything like this in 20 years.’ Warnings include suggestions that 60 per cent of vegetable packers have said they’re leaving or have already left.


Skiing. Brexit threatens not only thousands of resort jobs, but the future of British ski holidays according to an article in The Telegraph. UK travel companies who once employed thousands of UK staff are no longer accepting applications from British citizens, unless they have a dual passport or a right to reside in an EU country.


Classic cars. A report by insurance company Hagerty reveals the extra bureaucracy and paperwork due to Brexit is expected to hinder business. They highlight the Access/Temporary Access Carnet, a passport for goods that guarantees items will return from the EU which involves  a 40 per cent returnable bond, means a car worth £1m will need an upfront payment of £400,000.


Hauliers. A survey by Haulage Exchange, a logistics software company, shows over half of British haulage firms have already made or are considering moving some operations into the EU due to a "perfect storm" of post-Brexit red tape impacts and driver shortages still hitting the sector.


Charity sector.  The White Rose Initiative, a small Huddersfield charity, is facing a devastating legal battle that could lead it to ruin after being slapped with a 'Brexit bill' for shipping aid to Romania. Their hauliers have demanded an extra £4,000 on top of the agreed £2,600 bill.


Takeaways. Research by online food delivery service Foodhub has revealed takeaway restaurants across the country have been experiencing rising costs of ingredients like flour, chips, chicken and cheese and delays at ports because of Brexit.


Skiing trips. School skiing trips that rely on British personnel to staff their EU winter camps could be wiped out by Brexit after it emerged they are facing the same obstacles to travel as the music and theatre sectors, according to The Guardian.


Haribo. The German confectionery giant, makers of  Starmix, Goldbears and Tangfastic, say they are “experiencing challenges” due to a shortage of lorry drivers which is affecting deliveries to all major supermarkets, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, as well as other shops.

June 2021Bootstrap

Trade. Flour exports from Britain to Ireland have fallen sharply. The National Association of British and Irish Millers (Nabim) estimate that imports of British flour to the Republic have fallen by up to 25 per cent since the start of this year, replaced by alternative suppliers in NI, France and Germany.


Horizon. UK scientists have missed out on £1.5 billion in Horizon 2020 funds since the country voted to leave the EU in 2016. Campaigners say that the figures reveal the extent to which Brexit uncertainty damaged collaborations between UK researchers and their colleagues across Europe.


Red tape cost. British businesses will spend £7.5 billion a year handling customs declarations — as much as they would have done under a no-deal Brexit, Jim Harra, chief executive of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), told MPs. The number of customs forms needed to trade with the European Union under the Brexit deal “is not materially different from a no-deal situation”.


Trade. Flour exports from Britain to Ireland have fallen sharply. The National Association of British and Irish Millers (Nabim) estimate that imports of British flour to the Republic have fallen by up to 25 per cent since the start of this year, replaced by alternative suppliers in NI, France and Germany.


Food shortages. Worsening supermarket food shortages are now “inevitable” in the coming weeks as labour shortages across the food supply chain approach crunch point, according to The Grocer. Many of the factors fuelling the driver shortages are now causing problems in other sectors: EU workers returning home due to Brexit and Covid, new visas requirements and the winding down of furlough placing a renewed strain on the labour pool.


Labour shortages. A shortage of building labour is threatening construction work. Since the referendum there has been an exodus of skilled EU workers from the UK, felt most keenly in London and the problem could get worse during the summer, when many remaining EU employees intend to take extended holidays back home.


Small orders shipped to the EU. From 1 July, the EU will remove the €22 threshold for duties on parcels imported from non-EU origins which will then require customs clearance, payment of VAT and, depending on national thresholds, customs duties. This comes after protests from EU-based merchants, over a flood of cheap online purchases from China putting them at a competitive disadvantage.


Irish trade. A collapse in British exports to Ireland since Brexit has handed Dublin an extraordinary trade surplus with London. The Irish government say red tape explains a €2 billion plunge in the value of goods sales – 47.6 per cent in the first quarter of this year, compared with the start of 2020.  According to ONS figures the UK has previously recorded an overall trade surplus with Ireland every year since 1999.


Exporters state aid. UK exporters have been given more than £12bn in state financial support to keep Britain trading with the rest of the world through Brexit and the pandemic.  UK Export Finance, provided British businesses with the highest level of financial support in 30 years in the year to the end of March, almost treble the amount from 2019-20.


Roaming charges. One of the UK’s biggest mobile phone networks has announced roaming charges for Britons travelling to the EU. Customers of O2 have been told they will be billed £3.50 for every gigabyte (GB) of data used above a new limit of 25GB, from August. Roaming charges were scrapped by the EU in 2017.


Dover. UK Border Force have warned that new passport checks required by French authorities could reduce the “flow rate” through Dover’s passport lanes to “50 people per hour, per lane” — about a tenth of pre-Brexit flows, creating disruption and long tailbacks. Dover currently has just five passport lanes and on a busy holiday weekend can expect up to 20,000 passenger vehicles per day.


Film and TV. The EU are to launch a proposal to reduce the “disproportionate” amount of British programming on European television, threatening the near £500 million of annual UK television and video-on-demand sales into the EU market, according to The Guardian.


TV Broadcasters. 250 broadcasting licences migrated from the UK to the EU due to Brexit. Half of the channels available in Europe outside their country of origin fell under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom in 2018, declining to 10 per cent at the end of 2020. Over a quarter of international channels in Europe are now licensed in The Netherlands, with a fifth licensed in Luxembourg.


Horse Racing. Brexit has left British breeders and trainers mired in paperwork. The number of British trained runners in races in the EU fell by 67 per cent, compared to a 23 per cent reduction in races across the rest of the world. The British Horseracing Authority has called for red tape to be cut.


Poppies. The Royal British Legion has been forced to abandon sales of poppies online in the European Union because of the extra costs and bureaucracy it faces following Brexit. Its decision to stop selling to customers in the EU coincides with exporters reporting large falls in sales to the bloc because of new taxes and paperwork.


Meat production. The UK faces shortages of British-produced meat as problems with recruitment continue.  EU migrants have been returning home due to Brexit effects including a weaker pound, a trend exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis, the British Poultry Council (BPC) said as the poultry industry reported a 10% fall in the number of birds being slaughtered for meat in recent weeks.


Food exports. UK food and drink exports to the European Union almost halved in the first three months of the year, compared to the same period in 2020 according to The Food and Drink Federation (FDF). Figures show EU sales dropped by 47%. The FDF say the decline was largely due to changes in the UK’s trading relationships, but said the pandemic was also a factor.


Fresh produce being dumped. The shortage of HGV drivers is causing perfectly good, graded and packed fresh produce to be dumped or rot in cold stores, waiting for transport while supermarket shelves and restaurant plates are going empty. This is according to Nationwide Produce Ltd, a grower, supplier and importer of a range of fresh fruit and vegetables from around the World.


Manufacturing. British manufacturers are likely to have less protection against cheap imports from the UK’s post-Brexit trade regulator than they had under the EU regime, The Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) has said. They have already scrapped “safeguard” tariffs in more than 50 areas since the UK left the EU, Oliver Griffiths, its chief executive, told the Financial Times.


Shortages. A combination of problems - including the burden of Brexit paperwork, has increased competition for shipping container space and delayed delivery times resulting in a shortage of building supplies, garden furniture and packaging materials.


Fruit pickers. Brexit has led 'to a 90% drop' in the number of foreign workers coming to the UK to work on farms in the summer. Stephen Taylor of Winterwood Farms ltd says, “95 per cent of all fruit and produce picked and packaged in this country is done by eastern Europeans. We are not talking about a few tens of thousands, we are talking hundreds of thousands of people less to work in the UK. That's a massive hole.”


Customs.  Concerns are being raised about the UK’s capacity to process millions of delayed customs declarations on EU goods imported into the UK since 1 January. The grace period ends 1 July with the first delayed declarations due on 25 June. UK Customs is said to be “looking down the barrel of a potential nightmare” with a risk that many importers will be unable to find customs brokers or will fail to declare goods, meaning HMRC will lose much needed customs revenue.


Timber imports. According to the Timber Trade Federation, 52 per cent of UK timber imports come from the EU. Before 2021, just 10 per cent required due diligence to ensure negligible risk of illegal timber entering the UK market from non EU countries. As a result of Brexit, this will now rise to 62 per cent, presenting the UK industry with substantial challenges, say the TTF.


HGV Drivers. The Road Haulage Association says the UK has lost 15,000 drivers since Brexit. Experts warn that this will lead to a shortage of everyday products on supermarket shelves by the autumn and add to pressure on prices.


Financial service: EU regulators have warned City of London firms against using a tactic known as chaperoning to avoid post-Brexit red tape. Ireland’s central bank said it “expects that firms are adequately resourced” which may require more jobs and funds to be transferred to EU member states.


Food imports: Imports of fruit and vegetables from Spain to Britain shot up by six percent in the first quarter, compared to the same period in 2020 according to The Daily Express. The value of the Spanish produce imported into the UK reached £580million from January to April based on data supplied by the Spanish tax authority.


Food exporters: UK food companies are set to permanently cut ties with EU customers due to Brexit. Exporters are increasingly concerned that the second half of 2021 will see short-term Brexit disruption evolve into the permanent loss of certain EU markets, according to The Grocer magazine.


Services exports. Researchers at Aston University have calculated that Brexit shrank UK services exports by more than £110 billion between 2016 and 2019. They claim exports fell by a cumulative £113 billion compared to if the UK had not voted to quit the EU in June 2016.


Eurostar. The Daily Mail say Britons travelling to France via Eurostar are being turned away for not having a 'good enough reason' after a rule change to block the spread of the Indian covid variant. From 2 June, Britons must give a 'compelling reason' for their trip. As a third country, UK citizens can only travel to France for reasons such as bereavement or childcare. The rule does not apply to French or other EU citizens.


Food prices. Shoppers face higher grocery bills as more EU red tape looms according to The Telegraph.  Higher shipping and raw materials costs and EU red tape threaten consumers' pockets, the British Retail Consortium have said. More Brexit checks from October are expected to force retailers to pass on further additional costs to shoppers.

May 2021Bootstrap

Illegal immigrants.  German & French governments confirm there will be no bilateral negotiations with Britain on returning asylum seekers who enter the UK. The EU Commission also confirms that ‘for the moment their focus is on implementing TCA’ - which does ‘not include provisions on asylum and return’ and they are ‘not considering pursuing further negotiations to complement TCA at the EU level’.


Norway fishing. After talks with Norway aimed at a fishing agreement collapsed in April, Norway have announced that licences for British vessels had stopped being issued until a new deal is agreed. Fiskebåt a fishing industry trade association claimed the UK was trying to "send the bill for Brexit to Norway and Norwegian fishermen” by taking a hard-line.


Exports. Industrial pump manufacturer Verder Ltd told the UK Trade and Business Commission that packages are taking up to 68 days to get into Europe. Seventy-one deliveries have been lost with a value of around £50,000 since 1 January. “We see no improvement that Brexit offers, only a massive loss of business with our nearest market."


M&S. Marks & Spencer’s financial results to 3 April 2021 confirm the new trade deal with the EU which came into operation in January has cost an additional £29 million in administration and £13 million in tariffs so far, £27-33m of which relate to operations in Ireland. M&S say they are reviewing business models, local sourcing and re-routing product through European hubs.


Exports to Ireland. Exports from Britain to Ireland fell by just over 47 per cent in the first quarter of the year. It was the biggest percentage fall in exports to any of the UK's top export countries recorded by the Office for National Statistics, Britain's official statistics agency.


British homeowners in France. UK citizens who sell a French property must now use a fiscal representative for capital gains formalities on sales over €150,000 - the same as for all non-EU residents. These stricter post-Brexit rules are set to cost one couple, unable to provide all the correct documentation, an extra tax bill of €150,000.


Trade. Trade flows between the UK and EU slumped by more than a fifth in the first quarter of the year while trade with the rest of the world dropped by only 0.4 per cent. But, say the Office for National Statistics, it is still too early to say how much was down to Brexit.


NI Food. Marks & Spencer is to start buying more food from EU states as it battles “obscene” border disruption in Northern Ireland. M&S plan to source more goods from companies on the Continent as well as from Ireland and Northern Ireland, after struggling to get English goods across the Irish Sea due to Brexit disruption, according to The Telegraph.


Steel. Britain’s steel industry faces a “hammer blow” that risks damaging the sector. A preliminary decision by the DIT to remove import “safeguards”, designed to protect domestic producers from a flood of cheap imports, needs to be “urgently rethought”, according to lobby group UK Steel. They warn it will have an adverse impact on steel manufacturers in Wales and north-east England.


Food exports. Milk and cream exports to the EU were down 96 per cent in February. Cheese exports were down 65% and chicken and beef sales also down by nearly 80% - all figures, year on year. The Food and Drink Federation says Brexit has cost British exporters more than £1.1bn since the start of the year.


Travellers. UK visitors to France and Spain may be asked to show proof of their accommodation - potentially including an official certificate, obtained in advance, if they are staying with friends or family - once Covid restrictions are lifted.  Non-EU nationals who do not need a visa should submit an attestation d’accueil (accommodation certificate), a process taking up to a month.


Exports to Ireland. Data from the Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO) for March shows a 46 per cent spike to more than €3.1 billion in goods imported from the EU, and a corresponding slump in British imports to the Republic, which fell by almost a third to less than €1 billion.


Financial sector. The City of London's "Golden Age" as Europe's financial capital is over following Brexit, NatWest chairman Howard Davies said today. The City has been largely cut off from the EU since Britain's full departure last December, with bankers and City officials not expecting any direct access to the bloc anytime soon.


Farming. NFU President Minette Batters says it's clear that negotiators from Australia and New Zealand are sticking to their hardline demands for the complete removal of tariffs on all their exports to the UK. This, she adds, would make life unbearable for small British family farms competing with imports produced in a very different manner.


Musicians. Research by the Incorporated Society of Musicians found that 94 per cent of respondents had been negatively affected by the UK’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU. The first 100 days have been a “disaster” for the British music industry and the government has made almost no progress in addressing problems raised by visas, customs and other controls the FT report.


UK grown fresh fruit. Supermarkets face post-Brexit fruit and veg scarcity thanks to shortage of skilled pickers, says The Mirror. The government’s failure to allow in enough EU workers and new rules restricting visas for seasonal pickers are expected to leave tonnes of crops to rot while shelves lie empty.


Retirees. Dreams of retiring to Europe have been dashed for many says The Telegraph. Bureaucratic ‘complications’, have forced retirees to reconsider plans, amid worries about losing state pension rights and access to healthcare. Expats who relocate to the EU after living previously lived in Australia, Canada or New Zealand could have their state pensions dramatically slashed.


Construction. A combination of Covid and Brexit has caused a crisis for the UK construction industry with shortages, delays and soaring prices affecting projects across the country. Timber costs 80% more than in November, steel joists are up by more than 80%. Aluminium is up by about a quarter, copper by  40%. Plastics up 60% and paints are up by about a third.


Silver and Jewellery. British silversmiths are being frustrated trying to sell silver and gold into the European Union after the Brexit trade deal failed to recognise the UK’s centuries-old hallmarks. The Telegraph claims hallmarking was overlooked in the Brexit trade deal and says the problems also affect jewellery.


Foreign Direct Investment. According to data from fDi Markets, an FT-owned company tracking foreign investments, in the five years to March 2021, the number of FDI projects into the UK was up only 12 per cent compared with the previous five years, well below the 33 per cent expansion seen across EU countries.


UK Economy. Britain’s economy is on track to suffer more than £700bn of lost output caused by Covid-19 and Brexit, according to The National Institute of Economic and Social Research.  The NIESR said the UK was facing worse permanent damage than other rich nations due to a “poor Covid-19 response” from Boris Johnson’s government.


Illegal immigrants. The Home Office has been unable to persuade any European state to sign up to Priti Patel’s scheme for deporting migrants who enter the UK illegally to safe countries such as “France and other EU countries.”  The UN’s refugee agency is expected to conclude her plans infringe international legislation and are unworkable.


Financials. The City of London lost 2.3 trillion pounds ($3.3 trillion) of its lucrative derivatives trading business in March alone, with Wall Street trading platforms gaining the most from Brexit. According to Bloomberg, U.S. swap-execution facilities took market share in trades in euros, pounds and dollars at London’s expense.


Freeports. The government has admitted companies located in new freeports will be unable to export tariff free to 23 countries including Canada, Norway, Switzerland and Singapore, due to clauses in the free trade agreements recently signed. Manufacturers in freeport-type zones are specifically prohibited from benefiting from the new deals.


HGV Drivers.  An exodus of EU lorry drivers from the UK since Brexit has left the British haulage and logistics industry facing an acute staff shortage and a looming crisis for industrial and retail deliveries, the sector has warned. Freight companies say unless urgent steps were taken to address shortages, strains now visible within the industry would become evident to the public by the end of the summer.


Trade. A study by the London School of Economics drawing on real-time business data from the CBI up to April, shows that more than three out of five UK firms (61 per cent) are reporting difficulties due to Brexit, resulting in rising costs, higher prices for consumers and reduced competitiveness.


Food exports. A British-owned supermarket chain supplying expats in Belgium was forced to close two stores last weekend (Whitsun), unable to obtain supplies from the UK. Stonemanor hasn't had a delivery since before the New Year and is now turning to Irish suppliers due to difficulties getting goods from Britain since Brexit.


Law and justice.  The EU Commission has recommended that the EU does not give consent for the UK to join the Lugano Convention, an international legal pact that allows legal judgements to be enforced across borders. All EU countries plus Norway, Switzerland and Iceland are members.  As a third country the UK must fall back on the Hague conventions


Pig farmers. Pig producers still cannot export breeding stock to Europe and in February sales of pig meat to the EU, were down 80 per cent by value.  High feed prices and low pig prices have led to significant losses with the AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board) reporting the average producer was already losing £25 on every finished pig sold in the fourth quarter of 2020.

April 2021Bootstrap

Fishing. The UK has failed to reach fishing access deal with Norway which means the British distant-waters fleet have no rights to fish in Norwegian sub-Arctic waters in 2021. UK Fisheries, owners of the super trawler Kirkella, employ around 100 crewmen in Hull, but will have to decide what presence it can have in Hull without viable fishing opportunities in its traditional grounds


Food exports. Sales of milk and cream to the EU are down by 96 per cent – and chicken and beef by nearly 80 per cent – because of Brexit. Overall, the trade barriers erected in Boris Johnson’s deal have cost exporters more than £1.1bn since the start of the year, The Food and Drink Federation says.


Wine exports. WineGB, the trade association for English and Welsh wine, estimates that new customs paperwork and labelling requirements adds up £5 to the cost of a bottle of English sparkling wine at retail in Europe. Shipping costs to Europe have also soared from £140 per pallet to between £500-£700


Food exports to the EU. The UK food industry warns that new post-Brexit red tape which came into effect this week (April 2021) will increase export paperwork by a third and make some sales to Europe unviable. The EU has introduced a wave of new requirements for composite (multi-ingredient) food products entering the bloc from third countries like the UK.


Inward investment. An academic report in the Journal Science Direct shows that by March 2019 the number of EU27 investment projects in the UK has declined by around 9 per cent while outward investment transactions from the UK ito the EU27 rose by 17 per cent, illustrating that being a smaller economy than the EU leaves the UK more exposed to the costs of economic disintegration.


Used cars.  Since the UK became a "third country" on 1 January, used cars imported into Ireland from Britain that were originally manufactured in the EU or another country outside the EU, must have VAT of 21% paid on the invoice price. Up until last year, around 100,000 used cars each year were imported into Ireland from Britain, a market that may no longer be viable.


Drugs. UK pharmaceutical companies making non-branded drugs have already started to withdraw medicines from the Northern Ireland market because they cannot afford to meet the costs of new post-Brexit red tape, according to industry leaders and reported by the FT.


Aerospace industry. Four months after the trade deal was struck, aerospace firms are still struggling to secure EU signoff for British-designed parts and approval for maintenance work on planes registered in the bloc. At the same time, the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority is granting automatic recognition to rival European players.


Universities. Applications for undergraduate courses starting in 2021-22, from EU member states, the United Kingdom’s number one overseas student market, have plummeted by 40% but it is Brexit and not COVID-19 that is to blame according to University World News.


Pigeons. Pigeon fanciers say new Brexit rules for long-distance European races could “kill” their sport. Under EU rules due to become law next week, UK birds must be detained for three weeks before they can be released in France for trans-Channel races, leading to fears that they would be unfit to race after being cooped up for so long.


Banks. The New Financial think tank said today (16 April) that more than 400 financial firms in Britain have shifted activities, staff and a combined trillion pounds in assets to hubs in the EU due to Brexit. They believe this is an underestimate and “expect the numbers to increase over time: we are only at the end of the beginning of Brexit.”


Exports. The EU's statistics office Eurostat said EU imports from Britain fell 47% year-on-year in January-February to €16.6 billion while exports to the UK declined only 20.2% to €39.8 billion.  As a result, the EU's trade surplus with Britain rose to €23.2 billion in the first two months after Britain's Brexit transition period expired.


Import charges. A survey conducted by consumer champion Which? found that UK consumers buying products from retailers based in the EU are being hit with unexpected delivery fees of up to £300. More than 40 per cent of those  who ordered products online in the first six weeks of the year experienced issues with their purchases. The consumer group polled 2,000 people.


Exports. The British Chambers of Commerce’s Trade Confidence Outlook in  survey of more than 2,900 UK exporters revealed that the percentage of firms reporting decreased export sales has increased to 41%, up from 38% in the previous quarter.


Steel: British steel exports to the EU have plunged by a third in a fresh blow to the industry. Shipments from the UK to the bloc dipped to just under 420,000 tonnes in the first three months of the year, as the sector grappled with the prime minister’s Brexit deal, reports the Daily Mirror.


Nematodes.  These parasitic worms are used by amateur gardeners and commercial growers across Europe as a natural pest-control solution, but since Brexit not a single shipment to Europe from a BASF plant in Littlehampton has been possible due to bureaucratic hurdles according to a report in the FT.


Car spare parts. Delays and surcharges as a result of Brexit are causing havoc in the vehicle aftersales industry, with independent garages refusing to work on some vehicles and cars stuck in workshops across the country. In one case, an engine ordered in November 2020 has been marooned at Felixstowe docks since the first week of January, with the vehicle stuck in a busy garage in East Sussex


Antiques.  Dealers fear cross border trade in antiques will be “decimated” by paperwork after Brexit. HMRC said: &ldquo