Ongoing Brexit import delays set to hamper supply chains in the run-up to Christmas

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A year on from the official final transition from the EU, UK businesses continue to see increasing Brexit-related delays to imports from the EU, according to the latest Franco-British Business Report, released by the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain (CCFGB) and data science consultancy, Ekimetrics.

The latest figures present potentially serious supply chain issues in the run up to the festive period.

The 2021 Q3 report, highlights that UK-based organisations are facing critical challenges including an increase in logistics costs, delays in import and export of goods, and talent attraction from the EU.

Among the findings revealed in the report, 79% of firms experienced delays when importing or exporting goods, 8% more than in Q1. Meanwhile, there has been an 18% decrease in the total volume of goods imported and exported. Total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and France was £74.2 billion from the four quarters to the end of Q2 2020. This decreased by 13.6% and was £64.1 billion in the four quarters to the end of Q2 2021. Resolving these issues is vital if businesses want to prosper.

This report forms part of a live dashboard tracking the state of Franco-British business and the impact of Brexit on the medium to long term, built by Ekimetrics on behalf of the French Chamber, which can be viewed here.

As well as the clear impact this has had on the ease of doing business cross-channel, it is also having repercussions on UK workforces.

Around 46% of firms decreased the proportion of new hires from the EU (15% more than in Q1), while 67% have reduced their hires of interns and VIEs due to new immigration rules. Furthermore, 30% of the firms reported the primary reason for doing so is the increase in costs associated in the recruitment of EU nationals. And 30% of businesses reduced their UK headcount directly as a result of Brexit.

“What this data reveals is that supply chain issues between France and the UK don’t seem to be getting any better since the start of the year,” commented Marilise Saghbini, Director at French Chamber of Great Britain. “What we’re most concerned about are the reduced numbers of young people having access to career opportunities on both sides of the Channel – youth mobility is a critical issue to get right as we build beyond Brexit in 2022.”

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