Brexit: More than one year on and changes are still coming

Brexit: More than one year on and changes are still coming

February 24, 2022

It’s been more than one year since the UK officially left the European Union (EU). Here, Lee Steward, Director of Morrison Freight, looks at how it has impacted the industry and what else there is to expect.   

Whatever you voted for, the UK’s departure from the EU has impacted all kinds of businesses across the country.   

In what was originally a frictionless procedure, trade between Britain and the rest of Europe soon started to chafe.   

The first issue came just weeks before the UK officially left as businesses stockpiled in the run up to Christmas 2020. This led to huge queues at ports and disruption for local communities.   

Fast forward to January 2021 and Brexit, partnered with the pandemic, was already taking its toll on UK-EU trade. Official figures showed exports were down by almost 41% and imports down by almost 29%, so it wasn’t the best start to the year.  

One notable impact for the industry has been the lack of lorry drivers across the UK. Again, due to Brexit and Covid-19. Temporary visas for EU workers announced by the Government to reduce the shortage didn’t exactly lead to HGV drivers lining up for the opportunity. However, it wasn’t just the UK facing a driver shortage, Europe has also been desperate for them.  

Across the year, additional customs and border procedures led to some delays – ones which proved costly to many time-sensitive businesses like seafood suppliers.  

Companies who did not make preparations have probably experienced the biggest impact from Brexit.  Thankfully, Morrison Freight was ahead of the game and made sure things would continue as smoothly as possible.   

One of the biggest things we’ve noticed since Brexit is the paperwork! There’s a lot more admin required within the delivery of cargo. Therefore, we’ve had to employ more staff to keep up with the workload. And so have other companies.   

Thankfully, we were able to bring on more staff without any issue. This made sure our customs services were top of the game and could handle changes in the industry.  

From 1st January 2022, the customs declaration delays – introduced as part of Brexit transitional measures – came to an end. We introduced a Customs Clearance Service to support businesses who do not have their in-house team. So, we’re a one-stop shop for everything needed for the transportation of goods.   

Like all new things, there have been some delays as a result of the additional paperwork since the new year. However, Morrison Freight’s dedicated team continue to work hard to ensure clients’ goods move as quickly and smoothly as possible. 

It’s not over yet though. From 1st July 2022, further changes because of Brexit will be imposed. The Government says this will include full safety and security declarations, and new requirements for Export Health Certificates. There will also be requirements for Phytosanitary Certificates and potential physical checks on sanitary and phytosanitary goods at Border Control Posts. Drivers or their company could face fines if they do not go to border posts for checks when asked.  

To ensure your goods move smoothly and you have access to professional support and guidance, get in touch with the Morrison Freight team.