With a Brexit deal agreed, businesses have spent the first weeks of 2021 getting to grips with its long-awaited details and implications. Members of the Coastal West Sussex Partnership, representing some of the region’s key sectors, have explained what the deal means for them.

Tim Hague, Director of Property and Infrastructure at Shoreham Port said the biggest impact of the deal, which he described as “significant”, is the new requirement to have all cargo cleared through customs prior to it being released from the port.

David Martin, Partner at SHW, said businesses in the property sector faced impacts on supply chains, as well as the costs of buying and selling raw materials and finished goods. “It’s early days yet, but it may lead to more goods being made and sold in the UK,” he added.

At global engineering and consultancy firm Ricardo, Andrew Swayne, Group Risk Manager said increased paperwork and processing time meant some tasks were taking three times as long to complete.

At Allergy Therapeutics, which manufactures and exports medicines, Operations Director Bev Lees said Brexit has meant complicated logistics regarding import licensing, “masses” of paperwork and “Complete retesting of medicines in the EU for goods not approved prior to Dec 31st 2020. We have a laboratory set up in Spain to perform retests.” Bev wants the government to help exporters negotiate with EU bodies and put pressure on the EU to change its import requirements. 

John Hall at the West Sussex Growers’ Association said: “There is a shortage of workers from the EU and delays at ports are causing disruption to the perishable supply chain and adding costs.” The need for great advice on the import and export of goods and services was recommended by the majority of business owners interviewed ; Paul Hanson at Landlink Estates added, “we need to embrace the new regime.”

Henry Powell, Chairman of the Coastal West Sussex Partnership, said “Businesses are picking apart what the Brexit deal means for them, and it’s clear that across many sectors there are impacts and challenges. However, having a deal is far better than a no-deal outcome, and now partnerships such as ours can work with businesses and the public sector to create the best outcome possible – that is our key concern.”

Shoreham Port