Managing Director of Aston Chemicals explains how Brexit will affect her business

Has your business been affected by Brexit?
Has your business been affected by Brexit?

Dani Loughran MD of Aston Chemicals Ltd got in touch with the Bucks Herald to discuss Brexit, how the decision to leave the European Union will affect her business , and the consequences a 'no-deal' Brexit will have on UK industry and public services.

The Aston team have built a successful company in Aylesbury, employing 37 people and distributing chemicals to hundreds of manufacturers, from giant multinationals down to
tiny start-ups.

Dani Loughran recently challenged Jacob Rees-Mogg on BBC Question Time over Brexit's impact on UK industry, employment and public services such as the NHS and Police.
Loughran was not given the chance to respond to Rees-Mogg, despite the inaccuracies in his response.

Dani said: "We've grown this business up from two people, to a staff of 37. We are proud to have grown a thriving UK business and to pay UK taxes to support UK public services and society.”

Aston Chemicals imports chemicals from all over the world, as far-and-wide as India, Malaysia, South Korea, China and the USA.

The chemicals they import are the beginning of the supply chain for many products, such as toothpaste, shampoos and conditioners used by people all across the world.

"As the UK has been the gateway to Europe for a lot of companies, this has meant a smooth transaction for us buying products from all over the world, and sending them over to Paris
or Warsaw, as easily as we could sent the products up to Manchester.

"We pay the EU import customs duties to the UK government, check them in our Aylesbury warehouse, then send them across to their destination in mainland Europe."

Now however, Aston Chemicals is faced with double the costs of importing and exporting materials.

Firstly, they will have to pay the UK Import duty to bring the chemicals to Aylesbury.

Then, they will have to pay the EU customs duty, sending the goods back out to their customers in the European Union.

Dani says it’s not difficult to see, paying double the duties on their products will have devastating effects to many businesses who export products to the EU, and to the world.

This will also cause massive delays when Aston Chemicals look to export their goods.

"The products will now have to go through UK Customs, and will have extra delays and checks as they go through the customs checks of their destination countries.

"All of these extra costs and delays mean that business will have no choice but to bypass the UK and send their products direct into the EU, paying customs tariffs to other EU governments instead of the UK, and using other EU lorries and workers instead of ours.”

Loughran also explained problems with new UK chemicals regulations the UK government is imposing after Brexit.

UK companies have already spent £600 million registering chemicals with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), and after Brexit the UK will leave ECHA and repeat the cost, bureaucracy and animal testing to register chemicals again in a UK system.

UK companies cannot afford to do this and the result will be that many UK manufacturers will move production out of UK factories and into the EU. This will lead to further job losses
and another declining UK industry.

Dani said that she was worried about speaking out about the real problems that she and thousands of other UK businesses are already facing because of Brexit because she didn’t
want to upset people who had voted Leave.

“I know people voted to leave the EU in 2016 for many reasons.

"But none of us knew then what Brexit would really look like – I have only found out in the last few months and weeks how much damage it will cause to so much UK industry, and to UK workers and our public services which are already under-funded and over-stretched.

"It is clear now that instead of the NHS getting an extra £350 million per week after Brexit, they will actually have less money. We need the decision on Brexit to go
back to the people in a new vote, like the People’s Vote are proposing. We all have a better idea of what Brexit actually means now.

"People should be able to vote based on what they know."