Move to EU to avoid Brexit costs, firms told: Exporters advised by Department for International Trade officials to form EU-based companies to circumvent border issues
Referring to discussions with a senior DIT adviser on trade, Moss said: “This guy talked complete sense. What I said to him was, have I got another choice [other than to set up a company abroad]? He confirmed that he couldn’t see another way. He told me that what I was thinking of doing was the right thing, that he could see no other option. He did not see this as a teething problem. He said he had to be careful what he said, but he was very clear.”
Moss said it was now clear that Brexit was not about winning back control from the EU but investing in it to survive.
Geoffrey Betts, managing director of Stewart Superior Ltd, a company in Marlow, Bucks, which sells office supplies to UK and continental customers, said he had also decided to set up a company in the Netherlands for the same reasons.
He had also spoken to an official at the Department for International Trade before making his decision and received the same advice. “When the government said it had secured free trade, it was obvious it was nothing of the sort,” said Betts. VAT issues, new charges on moving goods and more bureaucracy all added up to an “administrative nightmare”, he said.
By moving operations into the EU and shipping out large consignments from the UK to their new European operations, the businesses can not only avoid cross-border delays and costs on every single small consignment they send, but can also defuse VAT problems that are currently hitting them and their European customers hard.
The Department for International Trade was approached for comment but did not respond.
When did taking back sovereignty involve outsourcing?
Yesterday, as the impact of leaving the single market and customs union on 1 January became ever more clear, the Financial Times reported that the cost of a £12 bottle of wine in UK shops could rise by up to £1.50 a bottle because of the extra bureaucracy and charges affecting imports.
There goes the Wine Moms...
In a further blow to the government’s idea of “global Britain” after Brexit, the chances of signing a swift UK/US trade deal also appeared to be ebbing away after President Joe Biden’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, made clear the president had other more pressing domestic economic priorities than international trade deals.
Will your blond brat claim being duped by our blond brat?