Brexit impacted 59% of UK fashion businesses: Report

Close to 59 per cent fashion brands have said that Brexit has impacted their business since the end of the transition, as per a recent report. About 25 per cent of the brands surveyed said they have considered relocating all or part of their businesses and 91 per cent of them want a visa that allows creative access to EU countries cheaply and quickly.

The UK-based leading think-tank for the fashion industry Fashion Roundtable’s latest report titled ‘Brexit: The Impact on the Fashion Industry’ has also revealed that 77 per cent of the brands surveyed expect to be affected post lockdown and 15 per cent said they might consider relocating all or part of their businesses. Approximately 39 per cent said if offered tax relief they would be more likely to localise manufacturing and the same percentage of brands might consider onshoring.

The report has collated key data and insights to share the most recent impact assessment from the current state of the UK-EU trade deal on the fashion, textiles and fashion retail industry. These insights have been used to form key recommendations, which if the government could implement, would enable the fashion industry to support businesses to not only survive but thrive post-Brexit.

The recommendations include adding garment workers to the Shortage Occupation List for Visas; reinstating the VAT Retail Export Scheme and extend to EU visitors; reconsidering visa requirements for fashion creatives; closing the gap on problems surrounding the rules of origin; subsidising or scrap ATA carnets for travelling creatives; establishing clarity on the issue of unregistered design rights; and beginning the craft and design T-Level course in September 2021.

Additionally, the report also recommends incentivising onshoring with tax relief for those brands who manufacture in the UK; securing a cabotage exemption for the creative and cultural sector; equal support for the fashion industry for exports to the EU; and building a robust IP framework into all trade deals.

“The UK’s fashion and textiles industry deserves to be understood and valued at this critical time. Our brands lead in innovation, sustainability and creativity, while our fashion retailer outlets are frequently the successful entry point for global brands into Europe. But for us to build back better we need more support, more a redressing of the issues such as the Shortage Occupation List, where we call on the Government to add garment workers to the list to support the greater demand for on-shoring until the necessary T-Levels are rolled out and the ending of the VAT Retail Export Scheme, if we are to attract the tourist consumer to the UK post pandemic,” said Tamara Cincik, founder and CEO at Fashion Roundtable.

Fashion Roundtable engaged industry leaders and business owners for the survey on Brexit and the Impact on the Fashion Industry over 2 weeks in January and February 2021.

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