Leading business groups have said that Ministers must restart trade negotiations with Brussels now to sort out the baffling array of post-Brexit rules and regulations that now threaten much of the UK’s export trade to the EU.
Amid rising excitement amongst UK firms at cross border conflict, they were told would not exist, British manufacturing and trade organisations met Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove in an emergency session on Thursday to address difficulties emerging from the deal struck by Boris Johnson with the EU before Christmas.
The Prime Minister had hailed what he alleged was a zero tariff and zero quotas agreement that would allow free and manageable access to the single market, but less than a month on, however, Britain’s EU departure seems to be anything but pain-free.
One leading person included in the discussions with Michael Gove describes the new rule book as a total shitshow. Another said Michael Gove appeared particularly concerned at hearing reports of difficulties, after a week in which Marks & Spencer was amongst leading companies to warn that more bureaucracy would raise costs.
The source continued that Michael Gove seemed to understand the full gravity of the situation that’s unfolding and about to get worse.
Michael Gove acknowledged on Friday that there would be significant additional disruption at UK borders as a consequence of Brexit customs changes in the coming weeks.
In the first week after the UK eventually left both the single market and customs union, the parcels firm DPD suspended some of its services, bookseller Waterstones halted sales to customers in the EU and UK fishermen warned they wouldn’t be able to sell their fresh produce into EU markets because of delays at borders.
There were also problems with consignments between Great Britain and Northern Ireland as new border checks caught numerous businesses unawares.
Luxury food store Fortnum & Mason also told customers on its website that they were temporarily unable to deliver to Northern Ireland or countries in the European Union, and Debenhams has temporarily shut its online business in Ireland.
Some of the problems are being blamed on a rush deal, and others on the sheer complexity of arrangements including rules of origin, some of which haven’t been conclusively determined.
Only goods made up mainly of parts that originate in the United Kingdom qualify as tariff-free.
Stephen Kelly, chief executive of the Northern Ireland business organisation Manufacturing NI said the reason why the United Kingdom and EU agreed that there would be an implementation period of 11 months was so that people could get their heads around what was needed and ensure their businesses were compliant, but they didn’t have that.
They had seven days before everyone had to be ready, and one of those was Christmas Day.
But it’s not like they weren’t warned that this would happen, but they decided to ignore experts and project fear.
So far, France has been pretty lenient, but wait until that all stops. But this is what Leavers wanted and I thought that they would be happy they’re going it alone!
And the view is pretty much like let the peasants live on potatoes and turnips, as long as they’re free to turn the country into a nefarious, third rate, banana republic who cares.
Add this to the rich UK elite that didn’t want their taxes scrutinised under the EU’s new Anti Tax Avoidance Directive and it’s inconceivable that the party that claims to serve the best interests of British businesses and commerce, could have left us in this mess, just goes to show, nothing good ever comes out of a lie.