One-in-four UK exporters looking to cut out EU customers post-Brexit

Almost one-in-four British exporters are planning on reducing their activity in the EU or eliminating it out entirely post-Brexit, according to a new survey.

A survey from the British Chambers of Commerce/moneycorp showed that 44 per cent of exporters would grow their business in the EU, but that 23 per cent want to “either reduce their activity in the EU or have no activity at all” in the next 12 months.

Another survey released today by logistics firm One World Express found that the figure was much higher.

Its survey found 44 per cent of UK businesses “are planning to cut ties with EU trading partners” post-Brexit.

The imposition of new red tape and customs declaration paperwork has caused trouble for many traders, with a different British Chambers of Commerce survey last month finding that half of the UK’s exporters had been negatively affected by Brexit.

The government announced two weeks ago that UK SMEs that trade with the EU will be eligible for grants of up to £2,000 each to “pay for practical support including training and professional advice” as a part of a £20m fund.

British Chambers of Commerce co-executive director Hannah Essex said the government needed to go further.

“At a time when making Global Britain a reality is so important, government must do more to help exporters expand their business in the EU,” she said.

“Giving short-term grants of up to £2,000 per company is welcome, but a much more ambitious approach, using tax credits to defray some of firms’ long-term Brexit costs, is needed.”

Responding to the figures, a government spokesperson said: “The latest available data shows that overall freight volumes between the UK and the EU are back to their normal levels.

“This has been possible thanks to the hard work put in by traders and hauliers to prepare for the end of the transition period.  

“Our focus now is on making sure that exporters get the support they need to trade effectively with the EU, and that all businesses benefit from the new free trade agreements we are striking around the world.”