Bill Esterson Member of Parliament for Sefton Central
In my role as Shadow Trade Minister, I had a fascinating discussion with Alasdair McGowan at eBay about how platforms like eBay are helping small and independent businesses trade overseas.
eBay and their competitors have millions of people selling domestically and internationally.
Around 60% of goods sold on eBay are exported. But it isn’t just large wholesalers, very small businesses export using platforms like eBay.
So it was very worrying that figures from the Office for National Statistics today showed that after the Brexit transition period, UK exports to the EU fell by 40.7%, and imports dropped 28.8%.
This is the largest decline since records began in 1997.
It’s no wonder, as exporters and importers both face more red tape, confusing regulations and barriers to trade like unpredictable and uneven VAT rates, drowning them in fees and paperwork.
The Brexit deal is done, but cross border trade is a mess and businesses need it to be sorted out.