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Global Economy

"Higher costs, more bureaucracy"

British parliamentarians have taken a critical stock of Brexit and warned of further consequences. According to a parliamentary report, the "only identifiable effects" of Brexit on British companies are "higher costs, more bureaucracy and delays at the borders," the Accountability Committee stated in its report.

The parliamentary committee responsible for overseeing public spending says it is "clear" that Brexit has "had an impact" on the decline in trade. "One of the great promises of Brexit was to liberate British businesses to give them more room to maximize their productivity and contribute to the economy," said Labor Party committee chair Meg Hillier. This removal of trade barriers is "all the more urgent now on the long road to recovery from the pandemic". So far, however, Brexit has only led to more burdens.

Stricter border controls could aggravate the situation

The report warned that difficulties at borders would only increase as trade returns to normal and more import controls come into effect as planned. "It's time the government spoke honestly about the problems instead of making exaggerated promises," Hillier said. The promise by the government of Brexit champion Boris Johnson to create "the most efficient border in the world" by 2025 is "optimistic", according to the report. The authors are "not convinced" that the promises are "backed up by a detailed plan".

Delays are also possible for private trips, the committee warned. "We believe the government needs to do much more in the short term to understand and minimize the current burden on those trading with the EU," Hillier said. The government pledged to support companies trading with Europe.

Traffic jams in the English Channel

As of January 1, 2021, the UK is no longer a member of the EU Customs Union and Single Market. A short-term agreed trade agreement ensures that trade with the EU can continue to be largely duty-free. However, new regulations are still causing delays.

Great Britain has also been controlling EU imports more closely since the beginning of the year, which also impedes the flow of traffic. Most recently, there were long truck traffic jams in front of the important port of Dover on the English Channel. Prime Minister Johnson appointed MP Jacob Rees-Mogg as "Secretary of State for Brexit Opportunities" on Tuesday.

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