The European Affairs Committee has announced that it will begin hearing testimony on “the overall impact to date of Brexit and the trade and cooperation agreement with the EU on two-way trade in goods “. He will examine how businesses have been affected by the new trade relationship with the continent since early January.

Peers will examine whether the deal brokered by Lord Frost has created additional barriers to trade for businesses in the UK and the EU.

They will also examine whether businesses are ready to undergo additional customs checks that will be introduced next year.

Last week Lord Frost announced that a number of border controls to be imposed will not be introduced until January at the earliest.

This is the second time that the UK has pushed back the timetable for implementing customs controls.

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They were originally supposed to be implemented in the spring before being pushed back until October to give companies more time to adjust.

Announcing the extension, Lord Frost said last week: ‘The pandemic has had more lasting impacts on businesses, both in the UK and in the EU, than many observers expected in March. .

“There are also pressures on global supply chains, caused by a wide range of factors, including the pandemic and the increasing costs of global freight transport.

“These pressures are particularly felt in the agri-food sector.

Peers say they will use their survey to understand the impact the controls will have once implemented.

“The Committee is interested both in the impact of further delays in import controls and in preparing for their introduction from January and July next year, particularly in the context of current challenges facing supply chains due to labor shortages, ”a statement from the Lords said. .

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“Although the introduction of numerous checks and checks has been postponed until July 1, 2022 (the third time the government has delayed these checks), the requirement for full customs declarations from January 1, 2022 remains an important step.”

The House of Lords committee will hear testimony from various sources on the impact of the trade deal.

The companies have warned that the UK’s decision to delay customs checks on goods coming from the EU is having a negative impact on UK businesses.

They say that while British exports to the continent are subject to border controls, those looking to ship from the continent to Britain can do so without additional bureaucracy.

Minette Batters, President of the National Farmers Union, said last week: “While our exporters have struggled with additional costs and burdens, EU competitors have benefited from extended grace periods of our own. government to keep access to the UK market relatively unburdened. . “

Ian Wright, Managing Director of the Food and Drink Federation, added: “It really helps the UK competitors.

“The asymmetric nature of border controls facing exports and imports distorts the market and places many UK producers at a competitive disadvantage compared to EU producers.”

The findings of the investigation will be released later this year.


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