Brexit causing ‘increased costs, paperwork, delays’

Brexit causing ‘increased costs, paperwork, delays’

UK firms have been hit by “increased costs, paperwork and border delays” as a result of Brexit, according to MPs.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), parliaments spending watchdog, released a report which said it “was clear” that leaving the EU was having an impact on UK trade volumes.

It also warned things could worsen this year as new import controls come in.

The government has said it continued to ensure businesses got the support they need to trade with Europe.

PAC Chair Meg Hillier said: “One of the great promises of Brexit was freeing British businesses to give them the headroom to maximise their productivity and contribution to the economy – even more desperately needed now on the long road to recovery from the pandemic.

“Yet the only detectable impact so far is increased costs, paperwork and border delays.”

The committee said while it was difficult to detangle the impact of Brexit from the effects of Covid and wider global problems, it was “clear that EU exit has had an impact” on UK trade.

This report comes as Jacob Rees-Mogg has been appointed minister for Brexit opportunities as part of a cabinet reshuffle.

The Leave campaigner will look at which EU rules may be scrapped now the UK has left the bloc.

In its report, the PAC said it was concerned about what will happen when passenger traffic across the UK border returns to normal levels as the pandemic slowly comes to an end.

It also described government plans to create the most effective border in the world by 2025 as “optimistic, given where things stand today”.

New border systems have not yet been tested with traffic at normal levels, and there is also a risk of more delays later this year when the EU introduces biometric passport controls under its new Entry and Exit System.

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Ellie joined Gi Media in July 2021.