How much does the British public know about Brexit's effect on international trade?

One of the biggest concerns following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) was how trade between the two states would be affected. Various trade agreements that the United Kingdom (UK) had established with the EU and European countries came under threat, with the UK working to establish new routes of trade. These new laws heavily affected British businesses that trade with the EU, from large chains to smaller companies. Despite this, many members of the British public are still unsure of what exactly Brexit means for trade.

In this guide, we will explore how Brexit has affected trade between the UK and the EU, as well as the new trade agreements that have been established, and how these changes affect you. We will also discuss how a solicitor can help your business navigate trade disputes post-Brexit, and what our solicitors at Giambrone and Partners can provide for you.

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Discover the impact of Brexit on UK-EU trading

Find out more about the various trade agreements in place in the UK post-Brexit

Here’s how Brexit has affected trade for businesses operating in the UK

Discover how a solicitor can assist if you are involved in a cross-border trade dispute

Here’s how we can help

How has Brexit affected trade between the UK and the EU?

Although Brexit has dominated the news since the 2016 referendum, the majority of the British public are still not aware of the various trade agreements that have been inaugurated. In fact, according to our 2023 survey, 71.4% of people say they have little to no knowledge on how Brexit has affected trade between the UK and the EU since the withdrawal agreement.

According to recent UK Government statistics, exports between the UK and the EU have decreased in the past two years. This accounts for goods and services, as well as exports to non-EU countries. However, imports of goods and services from EU and non-EU countries have increased. Despite this, between 2019 and 2021, goods imports from the EU decreased slightly by 18%, and services decreased by around 30%. When looking at long-term statistics, the share of UK trade accounted for by the EU had fallen; in 2022, the EU accounted for 42% of exports when compared to 50-55% between 1999 and 2007.

These changes in import and export levels are attributed to several factors post-Brexit. Border restrictions in the UK are much tighter than before, making it harder for those transporting goods and services to get into the country. Tariffs and customs duties now apply to the movement of goods between the UK and the EU; with positive duty rates comes competition for UK exporters accustomed to duty-free sales with the EU, as the introduction of tariffs may be off-putting to other businesses wishing to do trade.

With more restrictions and delayed transport of goods comes more opportunity for cross border trade disputes. If you find yourself in disagreement with another party you are trading with, do not hesitate to get in touch with our cross-border disputes solicitors.

What trade agreements are in place post-Brexit?

100% of the respondents in our 2023 study said that more information needs to be provided to the British public regarding UK-EU trade agreements. The EU is the UK’s biggest trading partner, so new agreements needed to be established quickly to protect trade between the two states. The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) is a free trade agreement that prevented new tariffs and quotas from being introduced, making it less expensive to trade. The UK also set up agreements with non-EU countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, post-Brexit.

The recent Ireland and Northern Ireland Protocol protects the islands in a post-Brexit society. The EU and the UK recently agreed on a new Windsor Framework that addressed issues such as goods travelling from Britain to Northern Ireland.

To find out more about the various trade agreements post-Brexit, you can read our previous guide, “A Guide to EU and UK trade agreements post-Brexit," here.

How much does the british public know about brexit's effect on international trade

How do Brexit and trade differences affect me?

Brexit has had a significant impact on imports and exports which especially affects small businesses. According to our 2023 survey, 57% believe that EU and global trade has been negatively affected since the UK left the EU.

As a business owner, the transition to a post-Brexit way of working has been a stressful and expensive one. Before Brexit, trade could flow freely between the UK and EU with no additional tariffs or paperwork. However, since the UK left the EU, these supply chains have ended, with administrative costs and more paperwork being introduced. This could have potentially led to cross border disputes between British businesses and EU supply chains, such as breaches of contract.

Some small businesses have received a small fund from the Government, offering to help them overcome trading challenges. However, the post-Brexit environment is still quite volatile and likely to change, so businesses need to be vigilant and seek legal advice to help them assess the ever-changing situation.

To find out more about resolving your cross-border trade dispute, or to reach a dispute settlement, you can get in touch with a member of our team today.

How can a solicitor help with trade disputes post-Brexit?

If you have encountered a legal dispute involving a post-Brexit trade deal, you should seek legal advice from qualified international solicitors to discuss your steps moving forwards. Due to the fact that these issues arise cross-border, there are various elements that can lead to the case being less straightforward than a UK-based case. Jurisdiction, language and communication barriers are hurdles that all parties involved need to overcome.

Common international trade disputes that can arise include contractual disagreements, shipping regulations, and the direct sale of goods. International solicitors can not only navigate the various language barriers and communication issues, but understand the law in the country where your dispute is taking place. They can also advise on the best course of action, aiming to settle disputes effectively and efficiently.

How Giambrone and Partners can assist

We have a range of international solicitors here at Giambrone and Partners proficiently skilled in various different areas of law, and can implement successful dispute resolution methods. Our solicitors can help you understand your chances of success at the end of your international trade dispute, analysing your case and providing the appropriate support and advice.

To find out more, or to book a consultation with one of our international solicitors today, you can get in touch via our online form.


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