Brexit is making the world an uglier place – literally.
A new report conducted by Oxford Economics, a leading economics forecasting organisation, found that Brexit has led to an £850m fall in the value of the UK beauty industry’s exports to the EU. The research was commissioned by the British Beauty Council and blamed customs delays and the increased cost of cross-border trade for putting a dampener on sales.
“The Council was established following the Brexit referendum as it became increasingly obvious from conversations with beauty brands and professionals that real challenges were on the horizon. Especially being as two-thirds of UK beauty brands trade overseas (compared to the wider economic average of 50 per cent),” Victoria Brownlie, its chief of policy told The New European.
Brownlie explains that while they did expect to see some “challenging data on the impact the Brexit vote has had on the industry, these numbers have been staggering.”
Moreover, while Covid-19 has also been said to wreak havoc on the industry, the report isolated key differences between the value of exports to the EU and the rest of the world. “The huge difference in the loss of trade to the European single market (£853m) compared to the rest of the world (£73m) shows beyond doubt that our withdrawal from the EU and the disruption to business that came as a result, is the driving force,” said Brownlie.
She added: “We know the government is aware of this and focussed on thawing relations to improve the blockers and remove the red tape. However all the while it continues, UK businesses will continue to bear the brunt of Britain being ‘made an example of’.”
This news comes on the back of a survey released by the British Chamber of Commerce earlier this week, finding that 49% of UK exporters have struggled to adapt to the changes required to keep exporting as they did before we left the EU.
Keir Starmer, however, the man likely to be Britain’s next prime minister, still believes he can put lipstick on a Brexit-shaped pig.