Less than two weeks after the effective departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, British companies are mired in a sea of difficulties between administrative formalities and unforeseen effects of Brexit.
British Cabinet Minister Michael Gove warned that there would be “major disruptions” at the country’s entry points in the coming days due to additional paperwork slowing down traffic, a particularly serious problem in the case of fresh produce.
– Logistics –
Between the slowdown in ports of entry, particularly Dover -in the English Channel-, and the reduction from three to one in the number of stops allowed to deliver or collect goods, the transport sector is experiencing difficult days.
Logistics companies are looking for ways to be less dependent on the Port of Dover and, in Ireland in particular, to avoid the UK and its current complications, even if it means taking longer routes.
– Manufacturing –
The sectors most affected by Brexit at the moment are mineral and metal products, machinery and electrical equipment, chemicals and textiles, which are highly dependent on imports from outside the EU and therefore subject to the so-called “rule of origin”.
According to this rule, a good is subject to tariffs if it has arrived on British soil from abroad and is then shipped to the EU.
– Distribution –
According to a federation of road hauliers, the supply chain in Northern Ireland is “on the verge of collapse”, with delivery delays due to additional paperwork, in addition to the rule of origin and tariffs on certain products.
Northern Irish supermarkets “are experiencing considerable difficulties” in filling their shelves since 1 January, when EU entry controls began to be carried out between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland.
As a result, the bankrupt Debenhams department store chain has closed its online store in Ireland, and the famous delicatessen brand Fortnum and Mason suspended its deliveries to the EU.
“At least 50 of our members are facing potential tariffs,” says the British Retail Consortium retail association.
– Fishing –
Scottish seafood exporters report feeling threatened by the burden of new paperwork after Brexit and fear that some of their perishable products destined for the European market will end up in the trash.
Scottish seafood is mainly exported to northern France, from where it is shipped to the rest of Europe.
European fishermen complain about the stricter controls of the British coast guard. As a result of this surveillance by the British authorities, an Irish fishing vessel was prevented from casting its nets off the coast of Scotland last week.
This vigilance can be explained by the disappointment of British fishermen, who hoped “to regain exclusive use of their territorial seas”, Hubert Carré, director of the French committee for maritime fishing and marine culture (CNPMEM), explains to AFP, but “the agreement (commercial between London and Brussels) foresees that “European fishermen” who have acquired rights will be able to continue fishing “.
– Financial services –
Hardly addressed in the post-Brexit trade deal between the EU and the UK, financial services have suffered a brutal rift, says Tej Patel of the Capco consultancy.
British financial services companies, now deprived of their “passport” to the EU, are waiting to receive hypothetical equivalences, authorizations to operate in specific areas (derivatives and stock brokerage, clearing, etc.) and easily revocable.
The European Commission does not appear willing to grant new licenses in addition to the two already granted (in particular, the clearing of derivatives transactions, which is overwhelmingly carried out in the City of London), and has requested “additional information” from British authorities.
Faced with the prospect of months of legal uncertainty, many have decided to transfer transactions involving European companies to their European subsidiaries, leading to an estimated migration by S&P of 6 billion pounds (8.16 billion dollars, 6.71 billion euros ) of funds as of January 4.
bur-ved / acc / mar