Almost half of British businesses that traded with the EU pre-Brexit are doing less trade with the bloc, or have stopped entirely, since the UK left the single market and customs union in January, according to a new survey.
An Institute of Directors survey, commissioned by Channel 4, out today also showed 16 per cent of British businesses that trade with the EU “have already decided to move some or all of their EU operations to inside the single market because of Brexit”.
The UK’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU ensured there are no tariffs on goods going either way, however there will be more bureaucracy for importers and exporters in the long-run.
Trading activity between the UK and EU plummeted in the first few months of 2021 as British exporters came to grips with the new paperwork and red tape required to send goods to Europe.
Exports to the EU have stabilised and are now around the same level as they were when the UK left the single market and customs union, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
However, imports from the EU are still well below December 2020 levels.
A government spokesperson said: “Whilst the processes for exporting are set by the EU, we will continue to give businesses the support they need to trade effectively with the EU.
“The recent launch of our Export Support Service provides one-to-one advice to new and existing exporters – making it easier for British businesses to access the information they need to export to the rest of Europe.
“This builds on the existing support available, such as webinars with experts and access to our network of 300 international trade advisers.”