By JILL LAWLESS – Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s departure from the European Union has meant higher costs, more red tape and border delays for businesses, and has yet to deliver promised benefits, said a government spending watchdog on Wednesday.

A day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed a minister responsible for ‘Brexit opportunities’, Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee said the ‘only detectable impact’ of Brexit so far has been to increase charges weighing on businesses.

Britain left the European Union’s vast single market for goods and services on December 31, 2020. Most trade remains duty-free, but Brexit has brought a host of new customs checks and other obstacles to a previously frictionless trade.

Brexit supporters say leaving the bloc, which Britain joined in 1973, will allow the UK to cut red tape, increase productivity and streamline the economy.

“Yet the only detectable impact so far is increased costs, red tape and delays at borders,” said Meg Hillier, the Labor Party lawmaker who leads the committee, which includes government and government members. opposition parties.

Before Brexit, around half of Britain’s trade was with EU countries. The committee’s report says the coronavirus pandemic has severely affected international trade, making it difficult to discern the exact effect of Brexit. But he said ‘it is clear that leaving the EU has had an impact’.