Boris Johnson has been facing criticism about the lack of information and certainty given to small traders about the bureaucratic changes they would face after Brexit. UK importers and exporters will face increasing red tape from January 1, 2022 to continue trading with the European Union, leaving radion host Matthew Wright warning Britons were “wrong” to think the process of leaving the bloc is now over. Speaking on LBC, the broadcaster said: “If soaring energy bills, rising inflation, and sinking wages aren’t going to give you the New Year’s blues, wait until I tell you about New Year’s joy Brexit is going to be bringing us.
“If you’re under the impression Boris Johnson got Brexit done at the start of this year, you’d be wrong.
“More problems with Brexit are just around the corner.
“Lorries could be delayed or refused entry to ports because UK firms aren’t prepared for the extra red tape that’s going to revolve around importing goods from the EU come midnight on New Year’s Eve.”
Companies trading regularly with the European Union lamented the lack of details about the future relationship with the bloc through most of the negotiations between the UK and the EU.
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But despite the deal struck last December between the two sides, Mr Wright argued small traders are still unclear about what is required of them and how they will fund the changes required to keep trading with the bloc.
He continued: “UK companies must make customs declarations for goods imported.
“Importers and exporters will also have to draw up extra paperwork for drinks, food and products of animal origin to avoid tariffs and get a reduced rate of customs duty.
“But only 1 in 4 small British importers is ready for any of these changes. I kind of understand why because some of the small traders don’t have the time or the money to adjust to all this new red tape.
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European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic said that problems with the Northern Ireland Protocol meant the UK “broke international law” in trying to get around the arrangement.
But he said he is still confident that a compromise can be found between the two sides, although he admitted it will not be easy.
Mr Sefcovic told Der Spiegel he is “pragmatic” about Foreign Secretary Liz Truss taking on responsibility for post-Brexit negotiations with the EU, after Brexit minister Lord Frost resigned earlier this month.
But he warned that if Ms Truss was to trigger Article 16, it would throw into jeopardy “the foundation of the entire deal” reached between the two sides.
Ms Truss has said she remains prepared to invoke Article 16, which would effectively unilaterally suspend the Protocol.