The Chancellor has announced new Brexit plans to help businesses who trade with Europe, with experts saying manufacturers are less prepared now than before the original March deadline.
Unveiling the government’s in spending plans for 2020-21 on 4 September, Chancellor Sajid Javid confirmed that an additional £2 billion has been ring-fenced to help the economy prepare for Brexit.
As part of the cash injection, border and customs operations will receive an additional £344 million to be ready for Brexit, including more border officers, doubling the support available for customs agents and improving transport infrastructure around ports.
HMRC is also stepping up efforts to ensure more than 88,000 businesses are ready to trade post-Brexit by automatically allocating them with an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number by mid-September. Companies without an EORI number post-Brexit will be unable to continue to trade with EU countries.
Meanwhile, a new report from Make UK and business advisory firm BDO LLP argues that British manufacturers are facing a “perfect storm” ahead of the current 31 October deadline. Outputs, orders and stockpiling levels are all lower compared to the months in the lead up to the UK’s original exit date of 31 March. The impact on supply chains will be particularly felt in the automotive sector, where car parts are sourced from across Europe and delivered on a Just-In-Time basis before being finally assembled in the UK.
According to the latest HMRC data, total exports from the North West fell slightly in the second quarter compared to the same time last year. However, the news is positive for the UK overall, with exports in 2019 up on 2018 figures so far.
The EU remains by far the North West’s strongest trading destination despite falling exports in recent months, with the transport machinery and chemicals sectors the biggest exporters, but trade with North and Latin America is steadily rising.
A collection of government resources to help prepare for Brexit is available at www.gov.uk/brexit.
For further help and support from GC Business Growth Hub on how to plan for the possible outcomes of Brexit, visit www.businessgrowthhub.com/brexit.