Brexit-related trade barriers have risen to £2.2 billion in UK businesses costs in the first half of this year.
An additional £600 million in costs hit British importers since January according to HMRC data quoted by The Guardian. The cause has been identified as Brexit, because the taxes were not required for EU imports when Britain was in the single market.
Among the food products which have been affected by “rules of origin” since 1 January were Marks & Spencer’s Percy Pig.
The rules reportedly show that free trade deals are not cost-free to UK businesses. Thousands of businesses have discovered they have to pay taxes if the products they import are not sufficiently manufactured in the EU.
‘Left in the dark’
Michelle Dale, senior manager at accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young, told the newspaper that British businesses have not been given enough time and help to prepare for Brexit costs and paperwork – which means they are now struggling to remain profitable.
Juergen Maier(former CE, Siemens UK) – New brexit trading arrangements have added £600million worth of tariffs to exporting businesses in the UK.. so much for a tariff free trade deal.. the only way to return to normality is to get closer alignment to the single market… pic.twitter.com/TSBTSnKEvn— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) September 13, 2021
Last month, it was revealed that over two thirds of the UK public feel “left in the dark” about the impact that post-Brexit trade deals struck by the Government will have.
Whilst a series of deals with several countries have been made, matching terms which were in place when Britain was in the EU, and new deals have also been signed, a survey found Brits feel the government has not been transparent about what the agreements involve.
Liz Webster, who lives on a farm in Wiltshire with her husband, said most Brits don’t want to lower food standards, but that the government is keeping everyone “in the dark” whilst signing trade deals.
Pre-Brexit promises are ‘huge betrayal’
Webster, who set up the Save British Farming campaign group last year, told TLE: “Between nine in ten people are adamant they don’t want to lower standards.
“With the risk we have seen from coronavirus, it’s even more important to prevent more disease.”
Webster says the government wants to deliver a “green Britain” whilst importing “nasty food” from countries far away from Britain – which “defames the farming industry and British farmers’ values” according to her.
She said: “They are trying to blindfold the British public by using this environmentalism and then they are importing food which has been produced under very low standards and is not environmentally friendly.
“There will be some good farming but it will only be the rich who will be able to afford it. We will have to eat bad food.
“I don’t think they kept their promises before Brexit, they promised things to all men. It’s a huge betrayal.”