Over recent weeks I have carried out a series of roundtables with a diverse mix of businesses from across the UK, focusing on areas such as their experiences trading under the new rules, how they are harnessing technology and their hopes for the future business environment.
The businesses I have spoken to have shared with me some of the challenges they are facing. A number of them have asked for further support as our economy begins to safely and cautiously reopen, plus more clarity about accessing guidance on trading rules.
We have listened. So, to allow more time to prepare for the changes to trading rules, we have decided to delay the implementation of full border control processes by six months.
It is important to use this extra time to prepare fully. There is now direct financial support to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) adapt to changes in trading rules through the £20m Brexit Support Fund. The fund is focused on practical support with grants of up to £2,000 for training or professional advice to adjust to new customs, rules of origin and VAT rules when trading with the EU. You can apply now.
We have developed a new toolkit that provides a quick summary of actions that businesses need to take, including access to relevant guidance and available support. This is in addition to existing resources, such as the Brexit Checker Tool, the Trader Support Service and the Movement Assistance Scheme for agri-food goods.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP
Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy