Brexit: Liz Truss can ‘finish Brexit’ says Marc Roche
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Britain ended nearly 50 years of EU membership on January 1, 2021, by completing its formal departure from the bloc after the two sides signed an eleventh-hour post-Brexit trade deal. Boris Johnson has continued to insist Brexit Britain will flourish outside of the EU, free from the shackled and rules Brussels has brought with it for nearly five decades. Several pro-EU supporters throughout the continent mocked the UK and insisted the once-popular member state would suffer as a result of being outside of the bloc.
But one German newspaper and website has expressed surging fears over the impact Brexit is starting to have on companies throughout the country.
Westfalenpost has run an article on its website entitled “Brexit continues to give businesses a stomach ache” in which it begins by saying the Chamber of Commerce has warned domestic firms trade will become increasingly difficult with the expiry of the relief in the first Brexit year.
The editorial explains that since that point arrived on January 1, several unilateral transitional rules in the UK for goods imports from the EU have expired.
It was highlighted recent comments by Frank Herrmann, a foreign trade expert for the South Westphalian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SIHK) in Hagen, who explained some of the difficulties now facing German companies.
Some 450 from the SIHK district of Hagen in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which also includes Menden and Balve, already export goods to Britain.
Around a third of these import from the UK, while 200 have offices and there are 50 subsidiaries.
Five companies have production facilities on the British Isles and two in Ireland.
Mr Herrmann said: “Our domestic companies must now expect increased customs controls on the British side – even though many domestic customs offices on the island are not yet connected to the EU’s electronic transit system.
“Almost a year after leaving the EU internal market, Great Britain is still the seventh most important foreign market for South Westphalian companies.
“This is mainly due to the supply of auto parts. However, this position could shift further back from 2022 onwards.”
But as the article from the Westfalenpost explains, “special regulations” for Northern Ireland are still in place as following Brexit, it remains part of the internal market and EU customs area.
He said: “We recommend companies clarify with their British customers whether they have prepared for the new formalities.
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“UK polls have shown that often this is not the case.
“In the logistics area in particular, further problems can arise at the beginning of the new year, which can put additional strain on the supply chain.”
The editorial also warned rules relating to providing services in the UK will be further tightened.
The foreign trade expert further warned: “Given these difficult conditions, we expect a further decline in bilateral trade.
“As far as agile trade policy is concerned, the EU can, however, learn a lot from Great Britain when you see how quickly Boris Johnson’s government concludes new free trade agreements.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.
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