Up until the end of last year, the UK was part of the EU single market, and British traders had enjoyed frictionless trade with Europe for several decades. But all of that has now changed.
Customs formalities are a fact of life, with paperwork to be filled in whether you’re sending a lorry load of precision tools to a factory in Germany, or a few jars of Marmite to your auntie on the Costa Del Sol. Add to that the complexities of rules of origin for manufactured and processed goods, and the particularly onerous rules which now apply on EU imports of agri-food products, and life is suddenly looking a lot tougher for UK exporters.
But to what extent do these issues represent teething problems which can be overcome in due course? What could or should the government be doing to make life easier for exporting businesses? And how are British firms coping with the new challenges that they face?
Chris Horseman is joined by Michael Gasiorek, Director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory; Anna Jerzewska, Director of the Trade and Borders Consultancy, and Associate Fellow of the UKTPO; and Ian Henry, Owner and Managing Director of AutoAnalysis and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Brexit Studies.