It was interesting, though hardly surprising, to hear the administrators of Orkney Fishermen’s Society flag Brexit as a factor in this long-established supplier of crabs, lobster and other fresh seafood falling into insolvency.

Thankfully, there was a relatively happy ending on this occasion.

Joint administrators Michelle Elliot and Callum Carmichael, partners with FRP Advisory, announced they had sold the business and assets of Orkney Fishermen’s Society to Orkney Crab, a subsidiary of Oban company PDK Shellfish, in a deal that saved all 55 jobs.

The administrators flagged "significant recruitment issues" arising from Brexit as they detailed the causes of the fall of Orkney Fishermen’s Society into administration.

The enormous damage to the overall economy from Brexit is plain for all to see and has been quantified astutely by many experts.

Back in the spring, Office for Budget Responsibility chairman Richard Hughes summed up Brexit’s effect as follows: “We think that in the long run it reduces our overall output by around 4% compared with had we remained in the EU.”

He added: “It’s a shock to the UK economy of the order of magnitude of those sorts of other shocks that we’ve seen from the pandemic, from the energy crisis.”

Centre for European Reform deputy director John Springford’s latest report on the cost of leaving the European Union to the UK economy, published last December, estimates that Brexit had, by the second quarter of 2022, reduced the country’s gross domestic product by 5.5%.

These are huge figures.

So it should be no surprise that Brexit has often been on the lips of insolvency practitioners when it has come to explaining the collapse of companies, or why firms are in dire straits.

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That said, those who have been taken in by the Brexiters’ tall tales might be surprised.

The joint administrators of Orkney Fishermen’s Society declared: “The administration was caused by unsustainable cash flow problems stemming from the effects of the Covid pandemic, significant recruitment issues arising from Brexit, and an acute shortage of crab in 2018 due to adverse weather...”

So Brexit was clearly flagged as a significant factor in the fall of the business - which was founded in 1953 and had clearly survived many tumultuous times – into administration.

The Conservatives’ hard Brexit, which brought the loss of free movement of people between the UK and European Economic Area, has fuelled skills and labour shortages across Britain, with more remote and rural areas among those places badly affected.

Scotland’s hospitality sector has highlighted the detrimental impact of Brexit on operators’ ability to find staff.

And, when Country Bumpkins children’s nursery at Ardersier near Inverness fell into insolvency in June, joint provisional liquidators Ian Wright and Scott Milne of Quantuma highlighted the effect of Brexit.

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They said: “The nursery, along with many in the private sector, had experienced difficulties in finding suitably trained staff, as many had migrated to council settings offering improved pay and benefits. Added to this was the post-Brexit reduction in the Highlands labour market, all of which led to reliance on agency staff and increased costs.

“In recent years the nursery’s revenues had remained steady, despite both the pandemic and increased levels of home working. However, the staffing difficulties and increased costs meant that the company ceased to be economically viable.”

The nursery employed 30 staff, with all roles made redundant when this business fell into liquidation.

Mr Milne said: “A combination of extremely difficult trading conditions, including a reduced labour market and increasing costs, has seen the business unable to continue.”

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When Edinburgh-based Retail closed with immediate effect last December with the loss of 22 jobs, Brexit was flagged as a factor.

Brian Milne, of French Duncan LLP, said in the immediate wake of his appointment as joint provisional liquidator of the retailer: “ Retail Ltd is unable to continue to trade due to a number of market-related reasons. The business has recently been impacted by higher distribution and postage costs involved in sending out products to customers. There has also been an increase in export and import costs due to Brexit and this has impacted on the viability of the business.”

Brexit is also highlighted by insolvency specialists when they are discussing the general situation.

David Fleming, UK head of restructuring at specialist Kroll, said during the summer of the general insolvency situation: “Last year we saw [a] surge of liquidations among smaller businesses. Many of these failures were companies that had struggled through the pandemic and simply ran out of options.

“The companies we are now seeing are managing a mixture of issues relating to Brexit, Ukraine, inflationary pressures and increased borrowing costs against a backdrop of leveraged balance sheets. This year it’s highly likely we will see administrations surpass the pre-pandemic average for the first time.”

James Burgess, head of commercial at trade credit and insolvency expert Atradius, said in January: “Firms across the board are facing an unprecedented number of challenges, from the continued fall-out of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic to labour shortages and soaring energy costs. Many business leaders will no doubt already be having difficult conversations about whether they can continue to operate at all, let alone profitably.”

Trade credit specialist Allianz Trade meanwhile said of the UK situation last month: “Domestic firms have been made fragile by the succession of shocks and challenges that they had to manage over the past years - Brexit-related issues, Covid-19 shock, earlier monetary tightening, rapid and sticky inflation. We expect firms to remain so in 2024/25, while the economic and financing outlook is only moderately improving by 2025 and while firms are exposed to the debt-repayment wall.”

What is clear from all of this, as should have been obvious anyway, is that Brexit is not “done” in any way, as the ruling Conservatives like to claim. And we must absolutely guard against the narrative that Brexit is something we should no longer talk about because it is somehow in the past. Its pernicious effects are being felt far and wide, as can be seen in insolvencies of all sorts of companies and other situations of company distress as well as in many other places.