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For U.K. Companies Brexit Meant Higher Costs and Endless Forms


For more than a decade, Neil Currie could sell his company’s handcrafted black iron pans and cookware from Shropshire, the birthplace of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, to customers in Berlin as easily as he could to ones in Birmingham, less than 30 miles to the east. But this year, since Britain left the European Union, Netherton Foundry’s sales into the bloc have plummeted.For 12 months, British businesses have been confronting the reality of the country’s decision to distance itself from its largest trading partner. Initially, the new system collapsed: Perishable goods got stuck at ports, retailers discovered their supply chains were obsolete and trucking companies stopped delivering to the whole island of Ireland.The worst of the problems (outside of Northern Ireland) eased after a few months. But what remains is a frustrating regime of higher costs, time-consuming customs paperwork and countless lost opportunities.Netherton Foundry’s website sales to the European Union are “ju …

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