Brexit bureaucracy prevents Royal British Legion from selling poppies in EU
The Royal British Legion was forced to abandon poppy sales in the European Union due to the additional costs and bureaucracy it faces as a result of Brexit.
Its decision to stop selling to EU customers coincides with exporters reporting a significant drop in block sales due to new taxes and red tape.
It comes as many companies struggle to adjust to post-Brexit red tape, with food and drink exports also being hit hard.
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On Friday evening, ministers were invited to step in to allow overseas sales to continue.
The charity told its supporters that “unfortunately we will have to stop selling to customers in EU countries until the legislation is revised.”
In an email seen by I, he said he couldn’t justify the extra expenses, including customs fees, and would have to register for VAT in an EU member state to continue operating after July 1.
The Royal British Legion has called on the UK and European governments to change legislation to allow its fundraising to resume through its online ‘Poppy Shop’ – which sells a range of poppy jewelry and accessories.
“After carefully considering the cost of such operations, the Poppy Shop concluded that it would reduce profits to such an extent that it would not be financially viable; ultimately having an impact on the level of funds collected for our beneficiaries, ”he told his supporters.
Commander Patrick Lister-Todd, a member of the Government Advisory Committee on Veterans Affairs and Pensions, said I: “The government really needs to fix these problems. Unfortunately, it comes back to the old saying to have your cake and eat it.
“The EU owes us nothing and rightly has its own advantages and trade restrictions. Brexit was a message from the UK that we would forgo the first for the second because it would allow us to open new doors. I have no idea where these doors are.
Exporters struggle to sell goods after Brexit scout markets further
While Britain is concerned about the fight against Covid, a quiet revolution is underway in the way companies do business.
Faced with the kind of post-Brexit trade barriers the Royal British Legion currently faces, exporters are looking either inward or to more distant markets.
Food and drink sales to the European Union nearly halved in the first three months of this year, while a survey found 23% of small businesses temporarily halted exports to the bloc and that 4% had stopped permanently.
Mike Cherry of the Federation of Small Businesses said I: “Small importers and exporters doing business with the EU face difficult and expensive formalities and costs. “
The change will cost the British Legion, which has generated nearly £ 5million in sales through the Poppy Shop according to its most recent annual report, thousands of pounds in lost donations.
Naomi Smith, chief executive of the Best for Britain campaign group, said: “This has to be the clearest distillation to date of the unpatrioticism of the hard Brexit agenda.”
John Healey, the shadow secretary of defense, said the shutdown was “extremely disappointing” and said he would pursue the issue with ministers next week, which is Armed Forces Week.
He said: “The act of buying a poppy as a souvenir should not be a victim of government red tape. Ministers are to take action to ensure UK law allows Poppy Shop to resume sales within the EU this year. “
A spokesperson for the Royal British Legion said: ‘Due to the UK’s exit from the European Union, goods sold through our online Poppy Shop to EU customers will be subject to the local rate of VAT. and customs fees from July 1.
“These costs are often higher than the value of the goods themselves and passing them on to customers is unreasonable. Therefore, we unfortunately stop selling to customers in EU countries until this legislation be revised. “