LONDON (CU)_Over the past two years, manufacturers in the UK have been struggling with rising costs and the fallout from COVID-19, and Britain’s departure from the European Unions has not made things any easier for them. Amid ongoing supply chain issues across the globe, British manufactures have also been struggling with customs delays and red tape following Brexit. One year on from the end of the transition period, the after-effects of the UK’s departure from the 27-member bloc are ranked among the biggest challenges for firms this year.
According to Make UK, the industry body representing 20,000 British manufacturing companies, the effects of Brexit will add to soaring costs facing the industry, although optimism among its members has grown. In its recent survey of 228 firms, it was revealed that two-thirds of industrial company leaders believe that Brexit had moderately or significantly hampered their operations, while more than half of the firms said changes brought about by Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, such as customs delays and red tape, will further damage their businesses this year.
These views were reaffirmed by the 2022 MakeUK/PwC senior executive survey, which showed that Brexit disruptions have been ranked among biggest concerns facing industry bosses for 2022. This is owing to delays at customs, reduced access to migrant workers and additional costs that are to be incurred to meet regulatory regimes in the EU, in addition to the UK. Meanwhile, the global health crisis continues to challenge the industry, with recent studies showing that Britain’s economy was losing steam at the end of last year, amid the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus, which hit demand for goods and services.
“It is clear from these figures that Brexit and the global COVID-19 pandemic have had a scarring effect on the mentality of many businesses, which are traumatised by the ongoing delays and disruptions to their supply chains,” the senior executive survey report said.