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Exports from UK to EU down 68% since Brexit trade deal, say hauliers

·1 min read

LONDON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Exports from Britain to theEuropean Union fell by 68% in January as trade was disruptedafter the end of a transition period following Britain'sdeparture from the European Union, according to a trade bodyrepresenting hauliers.

The government did not confirm the data and said disruptionat the border had been minimal since Britain completed itsjourney out of the EU's orbit at the of 2020 following anagreement on trading arrangements.

Since the start of the year, businesses and hauliers havehad to adapt to new trading arrangements, including new systemsfor companies and officials in the British province of NorthernIreland.

Some businesses have struggled with new customs declarationsand health certificates as the coronavirus pandemic also hitsfirms.

International members at the Road Haulage Association (RHA)reported a 68% fall in exports in January, the group said onTwitter.

"I find it deeply frustrating and annoying that ministershave chosen not to listen to the industry and experts," RHAChief Executive Richard Burnett told The Observer newspaper.

The government said it engages with the sector and does"not recognise the figure provided on exports."

"Thanks to the hard work of hauliers and traders to preparefor change, disruption at the border has so far been minimal andfreight movements are now close to normal levels, despite theCOVID-19 pandemic," it said in a statement.(Reporting by Costas Pitas, Editing by Timothy Heritage)