According to the results of a survey that was published on Saturday, the vast majority of British companies have faced trade related disruptions with the European Union following Brexit, with many expecting the issues to persist in the foreseeable future.
This is despite a trade agreement between Brussels and London which came into force on January 1, 2021 which was aimed at mitigating at least some of the issues; British companies now face new bureaucracy and more rules.
According to the Survation survey for London First conducted by EY in February, 75% of companies experienced some disruption, despite the fact that 71% of them saying they had felt prepared for the changes.
Nearly 49% of respondents said, they expected headwinds to continue in the long-term while a third said they had stopped trading with the EU and countries not covered by rollover agreements.
The findings echoed other surveys which show that British businesses have faced taller hurdles with their supply chains, since the new trading arrangements came into force.
According to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the disruption is mainly due to “teething” problems which would ease once firms get to grips with the new system.
“It’s clear that the disruptions to UK trade with the EU go beyond teething problems with the new regime,” said John Dickie, Acting Chief Executive of London First. “If the government is to champion Global Britain successfully, it must redouble its efforts to fix our trading relationship with the EU.”
The survey also showed that 29% of companies reported an increase in costs following Brexit, with 50% of them saying they will pass on such costs to customers.
Interestingly, 26% of respondents said, they had a better understanding of how to access new markets; 24% saw the new trading arrangements as a chance to diversify their activities.