UK firms finding trading with EU 'as challenging as they did a year ago'

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24 Jul 2023

Data published by the Institute of Directors (IoD) has suggested that UK businesses are still struggling to trade with the EU, with many concerned that there may be no let up in trading challenges.

According to the data, 46% of firms find the UK's trading relationship with the EU challenging. 72% cited immigration, business mobility and travel changes as having negative impacts on their business.

55% of firms said customs changes were proving to be barriers to trading with the EU, and 45% cited non-tariff barriers to goods trade as being an issue.

Commenting on the data, Emma Rowland, Trade Policy Adviser at the IoD, said: 'Anecdotally, the consensus from many businesses, particularly large ones, is that they are starting to get used to some of the regulatory barriers to trade, such as customs controls and labelling. However, our latest data shows there are still issues that need to be addressed.

'Changes to business mobility is a big sticking point, and one which larger businesses have expressed more concern over than SMEs.

'For some businesses, the issue lies in how much friction there is to travel for work. For others, it's about getting visas to work in the EU.'