The British Road Transport Association said, on Sunday, that British port exports to the European Union declined during the past month by 68% compared to the same period last year, due to the outbreak of the Corona epidemic and Brexit.
According to “Agence France-Presse”, the president of the Association, Richard Burnett, revealed this decline in a letter to Secretary Michael Gove, which was reviewed by the British magazine “The Observer”, and based on a survey conducted by the Association with its international members.
According to the magazine, Burnett believed that the decline is mainly due to “the huge increase in transactions that exporters have had to make since leaving the European Union”, calling on the British government to “increase the number of customs employees tasked with helping companies”, considering that the current number of employees is 10 Thousands of people represent only “one-fifth of what is necessary”.
He added, “I find it frustrating and very disturbing that the ministers chose not to listen to experts in the transport sector,” stressing that he “repeatedly warned Gove in the past months of these results.”
British exporters have to fill out a number of documents to prove that their goods are authorized on the European single market, which further complicates the already long and costly procedures and delays the passage of goods across borders.
For his part, a spokesperson for Minister Gove said that he “is not aware of the export figures announced by the association,” stressing that “delays at the borders have been very limited so far and that the movement of goods is still almost as usual, despite the pandemic that affected the transport of goods. “.
On January 31, the United Kingdom formally left the European Union, but it continued to follow European rules during a transitional period that ended on December 31, after which it became outside the customs union and the single European market.
In spite of the signing of a trade agreement in the last moments between the two parties, the British government warned the companies of the possibility of “disturbances in the short term.”