A third of British companies have fewer customers from the European Union six months after Brexit. It is challenging for SMEs to comply with all the new trade rules, the British business newspaper Financial Times writes based on a survey among entrepreneurs.
In a similar tour in January, just over a quarter of British companies said turnover has fallen. In this month’s new survey, that’s still 26 percent. Many companies have lost European business because of the inability to export goods such as food or because consumers do not want to pay the extra customs clearance costs for products from outside the EU. Some companies have set up an extra office or distribution centre in the EU, but that entails extra costs.
At the same time, just over half of company executives indicate that the worst problems are solved. They see the future positively now that the British economy is growing strongly. That, however, is hard to reconcile with the two-thirds of companies who expect the situation to become even more complicated once the Brexit transition period ends and Britain starts to enforce import controls at the border. That will happen in January next year.
Companies also complain about a shortage of suitable personnel. 17 percent of companies cannot find enough highly skilled personnel, and 10 percent of companies say they cannot find enough low-skilled personnel.