On November 10, our CEO Lucy Reece-Raybould joined representatives from Community and employers in the shoe and boot industry to meet Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade Emily Thornberry and Shadow Minister for International Trade Bill Esterson to highlight the challenges posed to British businesses.
Here’s what Lucy had to say…
We really appreciated the visit by Labour’s Shadow Trade team as it gave the footwear sector a fantastic opportunity to highlight the challenges the industry has encountered as a consequence of Brexit and Covid, and to advocate for measures that could help our businesses in the future.
As in many sectors, Brexit has resulted in the dramatic reduction in sales to the British footwear biggest export market (89% of exports went to EU pre-Covid). A simplification of paperwork, an extension of GSP clearance across the UK to EU tradeline, reinstatement of the Trade Access Programme and removal of the duty being levied on Freight costs, were all discussed during the open and frank session.
It was extremely helpful to be able to have such open dialogue with Emily and Bill. We are keen to ensure that the Labour’s Shadow international trade team understands the point of view of the British Footwear Association and our members and works with us to ensure the sector thrives in the future. The employers who took part were Loake Shoes, DB Wider Fit, Sanders & Sanders and Jeffrey West.