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Brexit could leave many companies facing new year 'cliff edge'

By Alan Beresford

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THE Brexit deal struck by the UK Government could leave many UK businesses facing a cliff edge after January 1, a major accountancy firm has warned.

Blick Rothenberg's Alex Altmann.Picutre: Nick Strugnell
Blick Rothenberg's Alex Altmann.Picutre: Nick Strugnell

Blick Rothenberg have voiced fears that the full implementation of the Christmas Eve deal is coming too early.

Alex Altmann, a partner and the head of the firm’s Brexit advisory group, said: “The Christmas Eve Brexit deal has been welcomed by traders but full implementation by New Year’s Day is impossible.

We now need a phased implementation of this deal for six-month months.

“Businesses need to understand and digest the phonebook-style legal text with over 2000 pages first. It took the Government years to come to this result. Why are we given now... days to get on with it? This is too early.”

Mr Altmann, who is also a chairman at the British Chamber of Commerce in Germany, added: “While the zero-tariff trade deal avoids another cost-shock for traders, the lack of guidance of how to deal with the new customs paperwork is a real problem.

“New customs rules mean 250 million additional customs declarations will have to be processed by HM Revenue and Customs every year from 2021. We need at least 20,000 more customs agents in the UK to support UK and EU businesses with the new procedures.

"It will take years until the new process works sufficiently.”

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