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BBC News Feature: Brexit Challenges for Welsh Manufacturers

Last week, we were invited by BBC News Wales to discuss how Brexit has affected our trade with Ireland. Josh Burbidge, Managing Director of Atkinson & Kirby spoke on the issue.

While we are currently still trading with Northern and Southern Ireland, the uncertainties surrounding documentation for products like timber is causing significant shipping delays.

To rectify this issue, we would like to see more of an alignment between the UK and Ireland on which documentation is required. 

We took steps to prepare for the UK leaving the EU customs union and single market at the end of last year but have still faced significant disruption to our business.

To overcome the challenges, Atkinson & Kirby is working closely with freight partners, as well as our customers to work out the best way to supply stores and home-delivery depots.

However, these challenges are adding extra pressure on top of the demands the company is facing because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Josh Burbidge, Managing Director of Atkinson & Kirby, said: “Last year, much of the focus for our business had shifted to dealing with the demands of the pandemic. For many months, all talk of Brexit had disappeared while businesses grappled with the Covid-19 crisis. But now the disruptions we face are twofold, with Brexit and coronavirus having an impact. The pressure on our supply chain teams has been significant and continues to be a challenge.”

Josh continues: “We keep up-to-date with Government advice and have attended multiple webinars providing guidance on Brexit. But a lot of this advice has been generic and has often left us searching for answers on certain aspects of post-Brexit trade. Ultimately, despite this guidance, there has been mass confusion post-Brexit, and more needs to be done to help businesses like ours.”

Read the full article from the BBC here: https://hubs.li/H0HgQvx0Watch the interview on iPlayer.

You can also listen to Josh Burbidge discussing the matter further on BBC Radio Wales at 25:30 here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000sk94.

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