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Bidfood Brexit Update – January 2021

The UK is now no longer part of the EU with Brexit now in full effect. As an independent the UK now no longer are a part of the Customs Union or the Single Market. Thankfully the UK Government secured an ‘agreement in principle’ to avoid a hard Brexit; which includes a trade deal with the EU. The previous News Post went into detail about the changes into customs and supply now that there are two wholly separate markets.

What has been the impact of Brexit so far?

Firstly we can confidently state that the costs of Brexit are minimal. Whilst we are still appraising the entire market we can suggest that since the beginning of the year there has been next to no changes in costs to both supplier and consumer. However companies and businesses’ alike are still coming to terms with their new controls and checks so the realistic costs will need to be continuously monitored. A particular focus would be on the requirements for suppliers, such regulations and  restrictions; these will in the near future undoubtedly have an impact on everyday costs.

Secondly the UK losing its access to the EU’s free trade deals has its own impact. Before Brexit, the UK was automatically part of any trade deal the EU reached with other countries. When the UK left, the EU had about 40 trade deals covering more than 70 countries.

In fact, the Government has been making great strides in negotiating individually with these countries, and so far has agreed to continue trading in the same way with 60 of them.  This leaves a gap of 10 countries, including Canada and Mexico, (where negotiations are due to start shortly) as well as Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, Montenegro, and Serbia. For these countries the Government has for the moment put in place the UK global tariff, and trade with other World Trade Organisation (WTO) members is taking place on WTO terms, or under the UK’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (for developing countries).

Finally we are focusing on the availability of products.  Thankfully since the beginning of the New Year there has been next to no impact on imported products. This is partly due to the decrease in demand as a result of nationwide lockdown. Should this change Bidfood have had contingency plans to minimize overall impact on everyday business.

Throughout the year we will continue to monitor and inform our customers of any major updates; all of this information is taken and adapted from Bidfoods January Brexit update.