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Brexit issue will leave a bitter taste

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'Two Northern Ireland-based tea companies have given us a taste of what is to come with warnings that Brexit bureaucracy and potential supply problems will come into effect very shortly.'

'Two Northern Ireland-based tea companies have given us a taste of what is to come with warnings that Brexit bureaucracy and potential supply problems will come into effect very shortly.'

'Two Northern Ireland-based tea companies have given us a taste of what is to come with warnings that Brexit bureaucracy and potential supply problems will come into effect very shortly.'

As if concerns about the effects of the coronavirus this winter are not worrying enough, January 1 will see a new trading regime as the UK finally leaves the EU. And if those reading the tea leaves are correct it seems almost certain that consumers will be faced with higher prices for household necessities.

Two Northern Ireland-based tea companies have given us a taste of what is to come with warnings that Brexit bureaucracy and potential supply problems will come into effect very shortly.

Under the Northern Ireland protocol from January 1 the companies will have to complete customs declarations for goods imported from GB and inevitably some of that cost will have to be passed onto consumers.

With tea drinkers getting through one million tea bags a day during the strictest lockdown period - and consumption is likely to remain high with so many businesses closed and so many jobs lost - the tea companies will face huge logistical problems in getting materials like tea bag paper from England.

And they are also worried at the prospect of bottlenecks at English ports which could interrupt supplies from China.

The companies have been absorbing increased costs recently - and deserve credit for so doing - but cannot be expected to continue to do this.

And certainly many other businesses facing increased bureaucracy due to the UK's exit from the EU may not be so generous.

It has to be recognised that business trading on this island - including to and from the Republic of Ireland - is a very complex issue with some goods, particularly foodstuffs, crossing borders several times before reaching consumers.

And then there is the supply chain which also spans the four countries of the UK and the Republic.

Ensuring its continuity and keeping track of the goods produced so they reach acceptable standards will attract additional costs.

It will not just be tea drinkers left with a bad taste after Brexit.

Belfast Telegraph


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