Speaking after news that the Trade and Co-operation Agreement has been ratified, Hannah Essex, Co-Executive Director of the BCC, said:
“While there may be relief that the ratification of the TCA has gone smoothly, the reality is that the changes within the agreement have been operational now for almost four months.
“It is now vital that both the UK and EU work together to alleviate the significant disruption and difficulty which many firms continue to report, especially with further changes still to come.
“The British Chambers of Commerce’s Trade Confidence Outlook for Q1, released earlier this month, revealed the stark issues facing UK exporters in the first months of this year.
“The survey of almost 3,000 UK exporters revealed that 41% of respondents reported a decrease in export sales, while only 20% reported an increase. This follows a major BCC survey in January which found that 49% of exporters reported difficulties adapting to changes to trade in goods rules. Only 16% reported any ease in adapting to changes.
“Without further support for businesses the effects of the deal will weigh on UK economic prospects for some time to come.
“The UK and the EU must now get back around the table and continue talks so they can build upon the arrangements set out in the TCA to deliver long-term improvements to the flow of trade between them.”