PRIME Minister Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit brought parts of the UK’s colossal road haulage industry, usually ferrying foods and goods across the world, to a near standstill as bottlenecks and red tape wrangles made for a costly start to the year for many businesses.

The flag-waving is a little less vigorous as this Conservative Government’s attempt at governing the country through such gargantuan economic upheaval as leaving the European single market is increasingly exposed as more akin to a messy attempt at playground “sovereignty”.

The process was dubbed a shambles by Scottish seafood industry leaders as delays continue to threaten perishable loads while a leading food sector voice warned that without actions “many exports will be halted”.

Seafood exporters said they have been hit by a “perfect storm” of checkpoint IT problems and red tape confusion following Brexit.

Parcel giant DPD paused some delivery services into Europe until next week amid the swirling blizzard of bureaucracy.

Hauliers described being “overwhelmed” by the checks.

Brian Donnelly: So, Brexit wreaks havoc and exports are haltedM&S warned on European business

Even Marks & Spencer called out potential damage by the new rules and regulations warning red tape is set to “significantly impact” its overseas ventures in Ireland, the Czech Republic and France.

In his Called to Account column this week, Business Editor Ian McConnell set out how Mr Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron entered the New Year on a different Brexit footing.

He says that the Tory leader “has generated a remarkable amount of hot air and noise, even by his standards, about the benefits he claims Brexit will bring,” adding that “he seems utterly undaunted by the Brexiters’ failure in more than four-and-a-half years to demonstrate any meaningful economic benefits of leaving”.

However, the concerns are not short-term, or related to a difficult birth as some might suggest. “In the real world, the evidence of the damage so far in terms of a drag on UK growth over years, and the Brexit woe to come, has piled up fast” he writes.

Brian Donnelly: So, Brexit wreaks havoc and exports are haltedBrexit woes 'could continue for years to come'.

The pandemic also continued to batter wider business this week, with banks under the spotlight in Deputy Business Editor Scott Wright’s exclusive interview with Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at London-based CMC Markets.

He suggested the biggest barrier to growth for the UK’s major banks this year is the uncertain economic outlook arising from the latest national lockdown, not the lack of clarity on whether financial services firms can access markets in the European Union.

Business Correspondent Mark Williamson’s column focuses on energy this week and how the “cut-price exit from North Sea by giant bodes ill for the area”.
He writes: “Scottish energy giant SSE poured a bucket of ice-cold water on hopes of recovery.”

Elsewhere, Business Correspondent Kristy Dorsey updated on Kilmarnock’s Halo regeneration project, which is now set to become home to incubators run by banking giant Barclays, occupying 15,500sq ft at the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant site.

Brian Donnelly: So, Brexit wreaks havoc and exports are haltedThe Pitt Street plan.

Positive news also over backing for a huge build-to-rent project for hundreds of homes on a landmark site in Glasgow city centre, with the redevelopment of the former Strathclyde Police headquarters on Pitt Street, which is to be replaced by four apartment blocks, some presumably with arresting views.