News that beauty exports from the UK to the European Union have fallen by more than $1 billion (£850 million) since the Brexit vote should make the government “blush”, an industry expert has said.
A report by Oxford Economics, commissioned by the British Beauty Council, found that UK businesses had suffered from increased trade barriers between 2017 and 2022.
It found that exports of personal care products from the UK to the EU have generally declined, compared with exports to the rest of the world which have been more constant since the Brexit referendum.
Millie Kendall, chief executive officer at the British Beauty Council, put the blame squarely at the doorstep of Brexit, saying Covid had little to do with it.
“People have pulled out of territories”, she said, commenting on the report that was sponsored by brands such as SpaceNK and L’Oreal UK and Ireland.
Tamara Cincik, Founder-CEO of Fashion Roundtable and member of the cross-party UK Trade and Business Commission, also hit out at the UK’s divorce with the EU.
“These findings should make the government blush. Increased red-tape from their shambolic Brexit deal means fewer opportunities and lost income for UK businesses”, she said.
“The government must not gloss over this issue. The message from the UK Beauty industry is clear: reducing checks through beneficial regulatory alignment with our largest market is the foundation to increasing much-needed trade.”