UK businesses ready to ‘cut out EU completely’ to bypass red tape ‘other doors opened!’

Brexit: Simon Spurrell says EU ‘effectively out of the equation’

Simon Spurrell from the Cheshire Cheese Company explained that other doors “have opened” for his company after Brexit. Speaking to Al Jazeera, he said: “The light switched on and it dawned on us that actually, this wasn’t going to be a quick fix. This wasn’t going to go away all of a sudden.

“One door closes, another one opens.

“We already ship to the UK and Canada.

“We could probably spend a heck of a lot less and fill that up by chasing business in other parts of the world and effectively leave the EU completely and utterly out of the equation for the time being.”

British businesses have been facing increasing pressure since the end of the Brexit transition period and the implementation of the new UK-EU trade deal introduced a swathe of new export documentation to fill.

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Michael Gove has vowed to “pull out all the stops” to help businesses adjust to new post-Brexit trade rules ahead of a meeting with industry leaders.

The Cabinet Office Minister chaired the Brexit business taskforce on Thursday evening to help businesses get “tailored support” to tackle export issues.

There is no disruption at UK ports, according to the Cabinet Office, but up to 5% of traffic has been turned back for either failing to meet customs requirements or a lack of a negative coronavirus test.

Some 371 enforcement notices were issued last week to lorries either for failure to have a Kent Access Permit or to comply with traffic management requirements.

New trading rules with the European Union came into effect almost a month ago when the post-Brexit transition period ended.

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Ahead of the meeting, Mr Gove said: “I would like to thank traders and hauliers for the preparations they made for the changes that came into force at the beginning of the year. There is currently no disruption at UK ports and goods continue to flow effectively.

“However, some businesses are facing challenges with specific aspects of our new trading relationship with the EU, and I want to let them know that we will pull out all the stops to help them adjust.

“To this end, we have set up export helplines, invested millions in the customs intermediaries market, and continue to direct them to the Brexit Checker Tool to see exactly what actions they need to take.

“We will continue to work hand in hand with the businesses community through the Brexit business taskforce to get them the tailored support to tackle any outstanding issues.

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“Together we will seize new opportunities open to a fully independent, global-trading United Kingdom.”

Five business groups – the British Chambers of Commerce, Confederation of British Industry, Federation of Small Businesses, Institute of Directors and Make UK – described the meeting as “constructive”.

In a joint statement, they said: “The meeting was constructive, and we were pleased to have the opportunity to set out to Government the range and scale of the challenges our members are facing across the country as they seek to understand and adapt to the new requirements for doing business with the EU and Northern Ireland.

“A range of problems were discussed, including the substantial difficulties faced by firms adapting to the new customs processes, sizeable obstacles to moving goods through the Dover-Calais route and the shortage of informed advice from both government and specialist advisors alongside a number of others.

“It was recognised by all parties that the level of activity remained low post-Christmas and that further problems might appear as volumes begin to increase once stockpiled supplies were exhausted. Concerns were also raised on further disruption to trade flows when grace periods fall away in the coming months.”

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