A new report from the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce highlights significant challenges continuing to face firms 100 days on from Brexit as they struggle to adjust to new trading arrangements.

The Huddersfield-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber, in partnership with the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, has published its findings on the effects of Brexit on local firms.

Following the end of the transition period on December 31 2020, firms had to quickly adjust and prepare for new trade procedures. New border checks were put in place, as well as new requirements for documentation, packaging and labelling.

The report shows that:

  • 60% of manufacturers and 41% service firms have experienced difficulties with exporting since the end of transition arrangements with the EU;
  • 52% of manufacturers and 37% of service firms have experienced issues with changes to transportation costs;
  • 40% of manufacturers and 31% of service firms have incurred (and absorbed) higher costs as a result of new trading conditions.

Martin Hathaway, managing director of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The delay in finalising a Brexit deal led to a downturn in confidence and, subsequently, exports as many businesses took an exporting holiday in order to give the new procedures a chance to settle in while they adapted to the new rules.

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“The additional bureaucracy has proved challenging for many firms in our region, with significant interruptions being seen due to border checks and customs delays.

“Thankfully, we are seeing a rise in exports again. However, the delays at the start of the year will no doubt have a significant impact on profit margins – margins that had already taken a hit from the effects of the pandemic.

“The negotiation of a new trade deal appears to be leading to an increased global interest from companies looking to trade with the UK.

“In recent weeks, we have been contacted by a number of fellow chambers and other trade bodies around the world seeking to create new commercial relationships in the future.”

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The LEP, as well as the York & North Yorkshire Enterprise Partnerships, have both made funding available to support firms in getting to grips with new trading arrangements. The report is supported by Squire Patton Boggs, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

John Alderton, office managing partner at Squire Patton Boggs, who supported the chamber’s report, said: “We are delighted to work with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and LEPs from across Yorkshire on the provision of an EU Exit Legal Clinic.

“For many years, we have supported clients through legal and political change and with a team that includes sitting members of the UK Parliament, former World Trade Organization officials and members of the European Parliament, we are well-placed to guide businesses through the uncertainty and help them develop effective strategies to address and manage change.”

The Mid Yorkshire Chamber’s export arm, MY Export Hub, is continuing to provide support to exporters in the region. For more information, please visit: www.myexporthub.co.uk. To read the report click HERE.