Commenting on the value of trade with Ireland, Liz Maher, President of the South & Mid Wales Chambers of Commerce said:
“With £844m worth of goods exported from Wales to Ireland last year it is a key export market for Welsh businesses. Any barriers between the UK and Ireland, whether physical or in terms of regulation, will damage the ability for businesses to trade across the Irish sea.
“Moving goods between countries can be a headache for businesses. In addition to dealing with physical border posts and tariffs they need to make sure that their products match the regulations within the country they’re exporting to, they need to organise the documentation required to move goods and they have to take account of fluctuating exchange rates when setting prices. For example Welsh businesses that do not hold the correct evidence to prove goods have left the UK face assessment from HMRC to collect the VAT they should have charged
“Many businesses are therefore put off exporting because they see these barriers as too much of a challenge. While the UK is a member of the European Union, and in particular the EU customs union, many of these barriers do not exist, making it considerably easier for businesses to export to other EU countries than further afield, including those countries where we have trade agreements with. The clear call from the Chamber is for politicians to ensure no further barriers arise which Welsh Businesses will see as a further disincentive to exporting.
“There is a lot of talk within the government’s proposal around not re-introducing border controls, which is a positive step, but we at the South & Mid Wales Chambers of Commerce are calling on the government to also consider how they can keep non-physical barriers to a minimum too.”