Watchdog Says Brexit Has Brought Cost, Red Tape for UK Firms

By JILL LAWLESS, Related Press

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s departure from the European Union has introduced larger prices, extra pink tape and border delays for companies, and never but delivered promised advantages, a public spending watchdog stated Wednesday.

A day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed a “Brexit alternatives” minister, Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee stated that the “solely detectable influence” of Brexit up to now has been to extend burdens on companies.

Britain left the European Union’s huge single marketplace for items and providers on Dec. 31, 2020. Most commerce stays tariff-free, however Brexit has introduced a bunch of recent customs checks and different obstacles to beforehand frictionless commerce.

Supporters of Brexit argue that leaving the bloc, which Britain joined in 1973, will enable the U.Ok. to slash pink tape, improve productiveness and streamline the financial system.

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“But the one detectable influence up to now is elevated prices, paperwork and border delays,” stated Meg Hillier, the Labour Celebration lawmaker who heads the committee, which has members from each authorities and opposition events.

Earlier than Brexit, about half of Britain’s commerce was with EU nations. The committee’s report stated the coronavirus pandemic had severely hit worldwide commerce, making it laborious to discern the precise impact of Brexit. But it surely stated “it’s clear that EU exit has had an influence.”

It stated border delays are prone to improve as worldwide journey and transport returns to pre-pandemic ranges, the EU imposes new checks on individuals getting into the bloc later this 12 months and Britain brings in full import controls, together with checks on plant and animal merchandise.

Rod McKenzie of the Street Haulage Affiliation stated lengthy strains and delays close to the primary English Channel port of Dover had been “the brand new regular” for truckers.

He known as for a veterinary settlement between Britain and the EU to get rid of the necessity for plant and animal checks, and “a lighter contact on these border controls” to ease delays.

The U.Ok. authorities stated it was giving companies “the help they should commerce successfully with Europe and seize new alternatives as we strike commerce offers with the world’s quickest rising markets.”

On Tuesday, Johnson appointed Conservative lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg to the brand new put up of minister for “Brexit alternatives and authorities effectivity.” It was a part of adjustments meant strengthen Johnson’s grip on energy after weeks of destabilizing scandal over lockdown-breaching authorities events in the course of the pandemic.

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