HALF of manufacturers fear Brexit customs costs will harm their businesses this year, according to a leading industry body.

Make UK surveyed more than 10% of its 20,000 members about their outlook for 2022. A total of 56% of respondents said they fear customs delays caused by post-Brexit import checks and changes in product labelling will continue to hit their operations.

And two thirds of those questioned said leaving the European Union had moderately or significantly hampered their business.

Disruption from Brexit is one of the biggest concerns for the sector this year, the survey for Make UK and PwC found.

Make UK chief executive Stephen Phipson paid tribute to the "strength" of manufactures who "have emerged from the turbulence of the last couple of years in such a relatively strong position". He went on: "While clouds remain on the horizon in the form of rapidly escalating costs and access to key skills, the outlook is more positive for those that remain adaptable, agile and innovative.

"To build on this we now need to see a government fully committed to supporting the sector at home and overseas. This requires more than a Plan for Growth but a broader industrial strategy that sets out a long term vision for the economy and how we are going to achieve consistent economic growth across the whole country."

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Separately, a YouGov poll for the Times found that 75% of people in Scotland believe the UK Government is handling Brexit badly – as do 60% of those across the UK.

Commenting, the SNP's shadow Europe spokesperson Dr Philippa Whitford MP called Brexit "an unmitigated disaster" and "it is almost inevitable the increased costs will be passed on to consumers".

She added: "Instead of helping businesses navigate through the challenges posed by the pandemic, Boris Johnson's government instead imposed an extreme Brexit that is piling on the hardship and costs."