Cornwall Chamber of Commerce is urging businesses not to stop exporting.
2020 was the year UK businesses expected to be bombarded with news of Brexit; with that would become reams of helpful information, support from the Government, and more bodies in the exporting process to guide them through a most turbulent time.
What actually happened, of course, was that coronavirus hit and Brexit took a back seat.
Now that the deal has been signed, Cornwall Chamber is getting reports of exporters – particularly those exporting fresh produce like meat and fish – struggling to get their products through to the EU. The complex new requirements, red tape, extra costs and lack of support are compounding to create chaos for UK exporters, the chamber says.
The message, however, is clear; if the UK stops exporting even for a short time, EU businesses will start to look elsewhere.
Chamber chief executive, Kim Conchie, said: “Now is not the time to start cutting back on your exporting. Yes, it’s an extremely worrying situation, but we cannot afford to take a step back at this point.”
Cornwall Chamber is urging the Duchy’s exporters to utilise its services and the services of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) in order to do everything they can to get goods through to the EU.
Conchie added: “If we let them down now, we don’t know if we’ll ever get them back again; it’s not a risk we should be taking.”