Federal government hits back at claims Brexit is suppressing exports to EU

The federal government has actually sought to safeguard its record over Brexit after freight industry leaders declared exports to the EU had actually nosedived because the transition period ended on 31 December.

When Boris Johnson revealed on Christmas Eve that he had actually protected a last-minute Brexit offer he firmly insisted there would be “no non-tariff barriers” to trade with the EU.

Exporters, nevertheless, are indicating burdensome extra form-filling and inspections, and a scarcity of customizeds agents to smooth the procedure– with 10,000 in place versus the 50,000 that the haulage market said was required.

The Observer exposed at the weekend that the Road Haulage Association (RHA) had written to the Cabinet Office minister, Michael Gove, recently suggesting there had been a drop of as much as 68% in the volume of goods exports going through UK ports and calling for an “immediate intervention”.

Whitehall sources emphatically turned down that claim, firmly insisting freight circulations depended on 95% or even 100% of regular levels on some days in January– though part of the RHA’s argument was that oftentimes trucks were taking a trip back empty from the UK to the EU.

” We don’t acknowledge these figures at all,” stated a Cabinet Workplace representative, including: “We understand there are some specific issues and we are working with organizations to solve them.”

A government spokesperson said: “Thanks to the effort put in by hauliers and traders to prepare for the end of the Brexit shift duration, there are no lines at the Short Straits, disturbance at the border has actually up until now been very little and freight motions are now near regular levels, regardless of the Covid-19 pandemic.

” As an accountable government, we made comprehensive preparations for a wide range of situations at the border, consisting of the affordable worst case. Nevertheless, it appears progressively not likely that our reasonable worst case scenario will happen.”

However, the RHA’s figure was corroborated by Richard Ballantyne, the president of the British Ports Association, who said it was “broadly in line” with his experience given that new year.

While the worst disruption has been experienced in Northern Ireland, where shoppers have at times been confronted by empty grocery store shelves, UK exporters from fishing companies to plant nurseries have alerted of considerable problems.

Shellfish exporters have been taken aback by a restriction on the export of unprocessed bivalve molluscs such as oysters and scallops.

The federal government had actually hoped the ban could be raised in April, but the European commission recommended last week that the rule, which uses to imports to the EU from third countries, would be permanent.

Chris Vinnicombe, who fishes for oysters on the Fal estuary in Cornwall, informed BBC Politics South West: “Boris [Johnson]’s terrific deal for the fishing industry– which obviously it is not– this offer must have really included the likes of live bivalve molluscs. This is going to wind up as a total write-off. It’s going to end up the whole fishery here. The Fal oyster fishery is one little part of it. This is a country-wide problem.

Some Brexiters consisting of the Conservative MP John Redwood have actually argued that the federal government ought to support the shellfish market to sell more of its product to UK consumers.

Gove will be questioned by MPs on the EU analysis committee on Monday, together with senior authorities from the Cabinet Office transition taskforce.

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