UK Businesses Continue to Face Economic Fallout from Brexit

Eight years after the UK voted for Brexit, businesses in the country are still experiencing the economic consequences of leaving the European Union. Despite the upcoming general election, Brexit has received little attention from the main political parties. Diego Alfonso, owner of the ice-cream parlour “Bertotti,” had to close one of his shops due to the economic impact of Brexit. Alfonso highlighted the increased bureaucracy and cost of doing business since the UK’s departure from the EU. The price of Bertotti’s gelato has risen by over 40 percent since the Brexit vote, leading to a decline in demand.

The implementation of new post-Brexit border controls has resulted in delivery delays, additional costs, and labor shortages for UK businesses. The UK in a Changing Europe think-tank estimates that the annual cost of new UK customs declarations could reach approximately GBP15 billion. Other consequences include amended driving regulations and the loss of tens of thousands of young European seasonal workers who were previously allowed to work in the UK without permits.

Bertotti is not the only business affected by Brexit. Rivet & Hide, a supplier of high-end men’s clothing, has experienced a 50 percent decrease in turnover with the European Union since Brexit. Owner Danny Hodgson has raised prices to cover import and export charges.

While sectors such as fishing supported Brexit, they now admit that the promised economic benefits have not materialized. Economists, including the Institute for Fiscal Studies, estimate that the long-term cost of Brexit could be around four percent of UK gross domestic product.

Despite the challenges, some businesses have found alternative ways to generate revenue, such as supplying restaurants and participating in festivals. However, many business owners express concerns about the future and the impact Brexit will continue to have on their operations.

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