Brexit butchers EU trade for Scottish beef producers

25/01/2021 5:56:00 PM

Scottish beef businesses are among the thousands across Britain facing issues with exporting goods into the European Union

Global Trade, Agriculture And Fisheries

Scottish beef businesses are among the thousands across Britain facing issues with exporting goods into the European Union .

Scottish beef businesses are among the thousands across Britain facing issues with exporting goods into the European Union

to fishermen who have lost sales due to delivery delays.Prime Minister Boris Johnson argued that Britain would be free to trade globally once it had cast off the shackles of the EU. But his pursuit of a relationship that enables Britain to set its own rules means those firms trading with Europe face a full customs border.

Hardest-hit are the small companies that built up during Britain's 47-year membership of the world's biggest trading bloc to sell often low-priced product that was couriered at speed across the continent.Almost half of 2018's 76 billion pounds in exports to the EU from small and medium sized enterprises came from firms employing fewer than 9 people.

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give 23 million pounds ($31 million) to fishermen who have lost sales due to delivery delays.health certificates as the coronavirus pandemic also hits firms.post-Brexit trading , British logistics expert Jon Swallow has seen exports dive, prices rise, and customers so desperate that he is practically offering a counseling service.For all the fanfare made when Prime Minister Boris Johnson struck a trade deal with Brussels on Christmas Eve, the inescapable reality of leaving the European Union's customs and regulatory territory has already started to bite.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson argued that Britain would be free to trade globally once it had cast off the shackles of the EU. But his pursuit of a relationship that enables Britain to set its own rules means those firms trading with Europe face a full customs border. "I find it deeply frustrating and annoying that ministers have chosen not to listen to the industry and experts," RHA chief executive Richard Burnett told The Observer newspaper. Hardest-hit are the small companies that built up during Britain's 47-year membership of the world's biggest trading bloc to sell often low-priced product that was couriered at speed across the continent. "We are now at a disadvantage to people trading within the EU," Swallow, a co-director of Jordon Freight, told Reuters in his office next to the vast cranes that tower over Felixstowe docks, Britain's biggest container port, on the southeast coast of England. Almost half of 2018's 76 billion pounds in exports to the EU from small and medium sized enterprises came from firms employing fewer than 9 people." "Thanks to the hard work of haulers and traders to prepare for change, disruption at the border has so far been minimal and freight movements are now close to normal levels, despite the COVID-19 pandemic," it said in a statement. Brexit red tape Where a huge meat or fish producer can fill one truck with one product and complete one set of customs paperwork, Duff sources top quality cattle from a selection of farms. When asked for comment on the immediate consequences of the trade barriers implemented as a result of the deal, a UK government spokesperson told CNN Business: "From the outset we were clear that we would be leaving the customs union and single market which meant that there would be new processes after the end of the Transition Period.

His goods – bone-in pieces from Shorthorn and Luing breeds – are sent on a truck carrying products from other suppliers, a process known as groupage.com." Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the face of the Brexit campaign, argued that a more nimble Britain would be able to trade globally if it cast off the shackles of what he said was an overly bureaucratic EU. Now a vet-approved health certificate is required for each firm's goods, meaning potentially up to 30 per truck. One fish exporter said he needed over 400 pages of export documentation for one EU-bound lorry. One error can block delivery. Previously Swallow's firm, which moves up to 10,000 truck loads across Europe a year, would have handled an equal measure of imports and exports. Duff's transport company have said they are struggling as it is to help big customers, so groupage must wait. The result, somewhat inevitably, was that it started going wrong straight away," says James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink.

He is also worried about prices, knowing that he cannot absorb all the costs of customs declarations, longer logistics times, and the health certificates. Logistics bosses believe Brexit could force a shake-out in trade. The industry estimates up to half of the trucks going back to the EU are empty. Truck volumes between Britain and the EU were on average down 29% in the first 20 days of the year, according to data firm Sixfold. Logistics groups say some trucks are returning empty to Europe to avoid export paperwork. Prices are rising. [But] it's too much. Almost every day, pictures circulate on social media of virtually empty fish markets and boats tied up.

One of those caught up in the bureaucracy is Sarah Braithwaite, who worked 16-hour days to build a horse feed firm that until January 1 was selling into 20 European countries. This month her stock has failed to get to Europe or been rejected by customers over unexpected customs bills and taxes. Her Forage Plus has halted European orders – making up to 30% of her sales – and is refunding 40,000 pounds to customers. Make UK, the manufacturing trade body, said 60% of 189 companies it surveyed say they have suffered"significant disruption" despite having prepared themselves for Brexit. Braithwaite says her business is too small to build a presence in Europe to overcome the new barriers."The trade that we've got now wouldn't support the cost of setting all that up," she said.4 million) for the industry to ease the process.

Both she and Duff are hopeful that exports can resume once the new system has bedded in but nerves are frayed. Swallow said bigger firms had generally performed better by throwing people and money at the problem. In desperation Braithwaite called the UK government for help. The message she got back: ring the French embassy. – Rappler."This is a hard Brexit, this is as hard as you can get without no deal.com . While 33% of manufacturers reporting a drop in exports linked the decline directly to the pandemic, some 60% linked the drop to Brexit, according to IHS.