Brexit: Isnt worth the hassle alarm raised as UK businesses hit by new trade rules

Covid: Jamie Jenkins slams Boris Johnson

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Philip Rycroft, who was permanent secretary at the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) between 2017 and 2019, said the changes will cause “teething problems” with some businesses may decide it “isn’t worth the hassle”.

The changes mean importers must make a full customs declaration on goods entering the UK from the EU or other countries.

Traders are no longer able to delay completing full import customs declarations for up to 175 days, a measure introduced to cope with the disruption of Brexit.

There are separate provisions in place for trade with the island of Ireland.

Mr Rycroft told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme the new rules might be too much for some companies.

“The Federation of Small Businesses reckon that only about a quarter of their members are ready for this, which is a bit surprising in a way because they’d obviously had a lot of notice that this is coming,” he said.

“But let’s not forget, they’ve had a pretty torrid year, most businesses, with Covid and everything else, so a lot of businesses won’t be ready.

“There will be teething problems… but the big question is, how many businesses ultimately think: ‘Do you know what? This is just too much hassle’, and give up importing?

“Just as some businesses have already given up exporting because it’s not worth it.”

Additional reporting from Oliver Pritchard-Jones.

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KEY EVENTS

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