Reports of problems at ports and borders in UK and Ireland as a result of Brexit are deeply worrying, as seems to be the government’s response. Reports by freight and haulage leaders of a 68% drop in goods exported must be cause for concern. Whilst there may well be initial ‘teething’ problems, the scale of the issue reported and the extra bureaucratic burden, as well as empty lorries returning from the EU, are all cause for concern and need addressing immediately.
It is unacceptable that people’s businesses, lives and livelihoods are jeopardised in such a way. Gove’s admission that there are serious problems with respect to the Irish sea border suggest that HMG’s, Whitehall’s and certain politician’s protestations are somewhat hollow.
Whilst the proposed SME’s Brexit support fund for SME’s to secure practical and pragmatic help to understand and navigate the new trade rules is welcome we would suggest that much more is required at a political level by HMG.
Whilst comments by the likes of Raab that a strategic ten-year perspective should be taken are important, they are not an excuse for HMG to fail to provide the in depth, structured and infrastructure, as well as the pragmatic, practical support and required resources; and leave business and enterprises f whatever size and shape to fend for themselves and see their business severely impacted, such as in the fishing industry.
Nor is it acceptable for HMG to refocus the spotlight on a strategic move away from the EU to such as Asia, whilst important and welcome, at the immediate expense of businesses now; nor to blame the EU solely for all the issues. This was a deal signed up to by HMG.