LONDON — For the second year in a row, Easter will be a largely online affair, with socially distanced egg hunts and virtual church services. But there will be one notable difference here in the Britain. Domestic chocolate makers, who should be celebrating one of their busiest times of year, are fuming instead, and all of them cite the same cause: Brexit.
“We’ve lost our entire European trade,” said Aneesh Popat, the owner of The Chocolatier, which sells dark chocolate salted caramel water ganache Easter eggs and other treats out of Bedfordshire, about 50 miles north of London. “Worse than that, we’ve lost our reputation, because when we send pallets of chocolate to, say, Germany and it disappears or we can’t track it, our customers don’t blame the courier. They blame us.”
The trade deal struck late last year with the European Union spared Britain from a variety of tariffs that would have inflated the prices of goods that traveled to the mainland. It has not saved British companies from a maddening, unpredictable array of time-consuming, morale-sapping procedures and from stacks of paperwork that have turned exporting to the E.U. into a sort of black-box mystery.