Two thirds of UK exporters don't have basic paperwork to trade after Brexit

Two thirds of UK exporters don't have basic paperwork to trade after Brexit
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Fri 9th Aug 2019

Only 70,000 out of 240,000 companies have registered for the documentation they need to continue trading with the EU after Brexit.

According to Sky News, these companies, which are responsible for around 25% of the UK's trade with the European Union, have yet to register for an economic operator registration and identification (EORI) number.

EORI numbers are currently only required by businesses trading with countries outside the EU but once Britain leaves, the same rules will apply to trade with EU countries.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) stresses that registering for an EORI number is "simple and free" (you can do it at the HMRC website).

Are businesses prepared for a no-deal Brexit?

Business groups have stressed that many small businesses are unprepared for Britain exiting the EU without a deal on 31 October.

It is reported that Michael Gove, the minister in charge of no-deal planning, has instructed HMRC to ramp up support for small businesses operating on limited budgets.

Sky News said that among the ideas discussed to help small businesses at a meeting between Gove and business leaders were VAT and national insurance contribution‎ holidays, a relaxation of banks' lending criteria, government help for companies' communications campaigns, and suspending the introduction of new rules to ease the regulatory burden.

In one of her first actions as the new business secretary, Andrea Leadsom met business representatives, described as "from SMEs to multinationals". The Department for Business said attendees told her they were "well prepared for Brexit on 31 October, but that this was often not acknowledged in public debate and commentary".

Leadsom said:

"We are stepping up a gear and increasing the pace of our preparations as we get ready to leave the EU on 31 October.

"The businesses I met with agreed that we must take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead: in innovation, new AI technologies, clean growth and the extraordinary scientific advances in which Britain is already leading the way. They also spoke about the benefits of doing away with certain EU red tape that has a strangle hold on productivity.

"While there are challenges, business leaders were optimistic and clear that none are insurmountable.

"Our preparations for no-deal will now be more open than ever, giving the business community the confidence to wave the flag for Britain and to seize the myriad of opportunities that lie ahead."


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Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I have 18 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from billionaires like Sir Richard Branson to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community and have strong connections to major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 50 events; from intimate meet-ups to conferences with an audience of hundreds including events for international brands like Facebook and Xero. I'm also a big fan of podcasts having hosted Enterprise Nation's Small Business Sessions as well as lots of online events including Facebook Live interviews, webinars and three live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography. I'm here to help. I'm volunteering free advice calls of up to an hour as part of the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, over the next 6 months. Please get in touch to see how I can help your business. 

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