After the UK left the EU last year, the export of British products into the bloc fell by almost half in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the same period in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. British exporters have been affected by a barrage of EU red tape, with firms now required to document goods for trade, customs and health reasons. The raft of new post-Brexit requirements on UK exports has pushed up the prices of some products.
Costs resulting from increased paperwork and goods being delayed in customs have ended up being passed onto the consumers in many cases.
Britons craving a taste of home have faced price spikes on British staples like baked beans and HP sauce.
British councillor Bill Anderson, who moved to Spain nearly 20 years ago, told Express.co.uk that it was noticeable prices had been “bumping up” after Brexit.
Originally from Edinburgh, he is a councillor for Spain’s PP party in the town of Mijas on the Costa del Sol.
He said: “We have noticed a little bit of an increase in the prices because they’ve had to change their suppliers.
“And anything that could be brought in from the UK is subject to import duties as well now.
“HP sauce or your baked beans are not dairy or meat products, but they will be subject to the import duties now.
“And we have seen prices bumping up a little bit in these areas.”
He added: “These were the things that I would call the hidden cost of Brexit that nobody really thought about.”
Mr Anderson gave the example of a Spain-based Cornish pasty company that imports its baked goods from the UK.
The firm’s costs shot up from around 50 cents per pasty to around 85 cents per pasty, he claimed.
He added: “They obviously have to pass that cost on to the consumer.”
Post-Brexit requirements for UK exports to the EU have also hit supply chains of fresh meat products into the bloc.
Along with dairy products, sales of British meat in the EU dropped sharply in the first half of this year.
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Beef exports plunged by 37 percent, while lamb and mutton fell by five percent, according to data from the Food & Drink Exporters Association.
Red tape, weaknesses in electronic export systems and a shortage of vets to process health certificates have all played their part, according to the British Meat Processors Association.
Mr Anderson explained that the impacts on UK meat exports were also being felt by British butchers and supermarkets in Spain.
He said: “Any meats that were previously coming from the UK, they’ve had to re-source.
“I think a lot from Ireland. I’ve certainly seen Ireland’s name coming up a lot.
“So, Ireland has gained from this because there are no restrictions.
“It impacts down the line to restaurants that are very typically British.
“Their transport costs seem to be higher, there’s import duties to pay, so it has affected the costs, and the prices for the consumer.”