A SCOTTISH-based hosiery brand has taken steps to mitigate the potential implications of a no deal Brexit by establishing a new base in the Netherlands.

E-commerce business Snag Tights currently manufactures its product range in Italy before importing the finished goods to its headquarters in Livingston, from where orders are fulfilled and exported around the world.

From December, its new facility in Holland will distribute goods bound for destinations within the European Union (EU), with Livingston handling orders for the UK and the rest of the world.

Around 100 jobs are expected to be created in the Netherlands

Snag Tights, led by chief executive Brie Read, currently fulfils around 21,000 orders per week originating from the UK, EU and countries elsewhere.

Its investment comes as business continues to face uncertainty over the UK’s trading relationship with the EU as the Brexit deadline of December 31 looms. Talks between senior UK and EU negotiators are taking place this week.

Ms Read said: “A no-deal Brexit presents two major risks for us. The first being the introduction of costly tariffs to import goods to the UK and the second meaning tighter customs regulations between the EU and UK. Both of which would be detrimental to the future success of our business.

“With one third of current sales coming from within the EU, it would no longer make sense to import our products from Italy to the UK, to then export them back to the EU.

“As a result, all future orders for the EU and potentially other countries in which the EU has a favourable trade deal with, would be fulfilled from the Netherlands. Packaged stock would then be shipped to Livingston to fulfil orders for the UK and the rest of the world, where the customs and shipping terms were preferable from the UK.”

Snag Tights, which was launched in 2018, employs 70 people, 35 of whom are based in Livingston. It turned over £24 million in its last financial year following two and half years of “exponential” growth, with the firm highlighting strong relationships with customers and the “operational resilience” it has shown amid the pandemic.

Ms Read added: “In the event that freeports were introduced across the UK, or the EU and the UK agreed a free trade deal, it wouldn’t be necessary to move our create another base in the Netherlands. However, given the time it takes to set up a warehouse, we couldn’t put our plans on hold for any longer and risk facing a no-deal situation come the end of December.

“With a commitment to being part of the future growth and economic development of Scotland, more clarity from the government on Brexit at an earlier stage would have enabled Snag to maintain its Scottish roots and continue investing in the country as well as expanding its Livingston workforce.”