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The British Parliament confirms that the ‘brexit’ has generated more costs, delays and bureaucracy

The Accounts Committee predicts that import controls will cause a new border chaos for European carriers this year

LOURDES GOMEZ Correspondent. London

More expensive, more bureaucracy, more delays. This is the conclusion of the latest report by the Accounts Committee of the Westminster Parliament on the impact of ‘Brexit’ in the United Kingdom. The parliamentarians recognize in their research that it is still impossible to differentiate the effect of covid-19, ‘brexit’ and other global factors when assessing the causes and distributing the weight of the decrease in the volume of trade between the old European partners During the past two years. Even so, they categorically affirm that the disconnection from the EU “has had an impact and the new procedures have increased the expenses” of companies and businesses.

“The only detectable impact so far is increased costs and paperwork, as well as delays at the border,” says Meg Hillier, chair of the committee. The report, ‘Leaving the European Union: the British border after the transition’, also warns of a likely worsening of the situation in British ports and airports as travel restrictions are lifted and freight traffic normalizes. affected by the pandemic. To the recovery from the coronavirus must be added the introduction this year of a new customs and passport system to enter the EU and the execution by the United Kingdom of the customs controls that it has been delaying since the definitive consummation of ‘Brexit’ in January 2021.

The committee brings to light “big promises” from the 2016 referendum ‘Out of the EU’ campaign, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the head of the bill, which have not materialized, either in terms of competitive advantages for the business sector or economic liberation in general. It also expresses concern about the lack of preparation and distribution of aid to SMEs to deal with the additional procedures and costs of trade with the EU. “It is time for the government to be honest about the problems instead of making exaggerated promises,” declares the president.

The “great promises” of ‘Outside the EU’ have not been fulfilled in terms of competitive advantages or economic liberation

The panel of deputies from different parties ridicules the promise of the Conservative Executive that it will create the “most effective border in the world” by 2025 and recommends focusing on necessary reforms in the shorter term. He admits in the report that the “ambition is remarkable” but also “optimistic given the state of things today.” “It is obvious that UK businesses face additional costs and red tape when doing business with the EU,” the document states. Many companies are already beginning to hire customs agents to process the new border barriers and other extra requirements, such as the payment of tariffs on EU products that do not pass the “rules of origin” test for each ingredient and component.

customs inspections

European carriers will also face new obstacles when trying to cross the English Channel. The British Government delayed the introduction of inspections and controls of imported goods on three occasions, but is now “very confident” that it will carry them out in different phases until November. The committee doubts this last commitment because, as it discovers in its investigation, “much remains to be done” and “structures and manpower” are still lacking. Projections made by the British Treasury in 2019 estimate the extra cost of the new border regulations at 15,000 million pounds per year (about 18,000 million euros) for the whole of the EU and the United Kingdom.

“Much more must be done to ensure that traders and carriers from the 27 European countries are prepared for British import controls,” warns the parliamentary committee. In the first year of ‘Brexit’, the British borders have remained practically open to ensure the supply of Spanish vegetables or oranges, French cheeses and Italian pasta in supermarkets. The Government estimates that 85% of imports from the EU are managed by large merchants used to selling their products around the world. The campaign focuses on the remaining 15% – some 90,000 – who are less familiar with the bureaucratic hurdles of ‘Brexit’.

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