© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Border Control at the Port of Dover
LONDON (Reuters) – UK exports to the European Union fell 68% in January due to trade disruption following the end of a transition period following Britain’s exit from the European Union, according to a trade body that represents carriers. The government did not confirm the data, saying the disruption at the border had been minimal since Britain completed its journey outside the EU orbit in late 2020 following a deal on trade deals. Since the beginning of the year, companies and carriers have had to adapt to new trade agreements, including new systems for companies and officials in the British province of Northern Ireland. Some companies have had problems with the new customs declarations and health certificates, as the coronavirus pandemic also affects companies. International members of the Road Haulage Association (RHA) reported a 68% drop in exports in January, the group said on Twitter. “I find it deeply frustrating and upsetting that ministers have chosen not to listen to industry and experts,” RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett told The Observer newspaper. The government said it is involved with the sector and “does not recognize the figure provided on exports.” “Thanks to the hard work of carriers and merchants to prepare for the change, the disruption at the border has been minimal so far and cargo movements are now close to normal levels, despite the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said in a statement.