NBCC Chairman, ir. Anton Valk CBE was interviewed on 13 April on BNR Radio by Bas van Werven regarding the findings of two recent independent surveys (led by NBCC resp EY) which reveal that 8 out of 10 companies have been impacted by Brexit. The discussion focused on both practical and structural issues with the deal and the role of NBCC in the ongoing process.
Van Werven clarified that trade from the UK of many products have been disrupted, such as salmon exports decreasing by 98% and beef by 92%, and cited the impact of over 7,600 jobs moving from the UK to mainland Europe. Valk mentioned that NBCC was lobbying to find practical solutions, rather than focusing on the politics around the agreement, saying, “There are many practical concerns we can solve, such as improving digitisation; working on delivering faster customs procedures, and especially in the UK, priority for perishable goods, and increasing the availability of customs agents and inspections”.
Valk confirmed that the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement had changed the favourable market environment on both sides of the channel for ever – but it was the start of a long process – and that focus now should be on ensuring that the agreement was passed through the European Parliament later in the month and then work could continue on the structural realities of the process, including further agreement around financial services and data. He said, “NBCC’s role is to actively lobby for, and with, businesses to ensure that their concerns were raised and they have real representation in the ongoing process”.