This morning I urged International Trade Ministers to work to improve their Brexit deal to protect UK jobs hit by extra costs and barriers as they try to continue trading with Europe.
I raised the case of Moon Climbing, just one of the businesses who have contacted me explaining that they now need to either move abroad or change their operations, trading or supply chains because of new Brexit barriers to trading with the EU.
Ben, from Moon Climbing, said “What is absolutely clear is that we do not have ‘frictionless trade’.” The Sheffield business has now set up in the Netherlands after multiple difficulties and confusion over documentation, VAT and more when trying to trade with the EU from the UK.
I told the House of Commons that in line with the apparent advice of DIT officials, Moon Climbing have “set up a base in the Netherlands to avoid the barriers – and they anticipate it ‘will be our main base from which we service both the EU and the rest of the world’.”
I was concerned when, in response to earlier questions, the International Trade Minister and the Secretary of State said it was nothing to do with them and I told them that “frankly companies expect the Department for International Trade to take some responsibility for trade” and went on to ask ““what are they doing to prevent more UK businesses moving abroad as a result of the damaging Brexit deal – losing UK jobs, GDP and tax revenue?”
I was shocked by the Minister’s complacent response that “The British people decided to leave the European Union…frictions inevitably result from our departure.”
You can watch the whole exchange below: