MORE than a year after the UK fully withdrew from the EU, an Edinburgh business owner has revealed he still spends countless hours on admin just trying to get items to and from Europe.

David Gardiner, who runs Laid Back Bikes, slammed Brexit as a “waste of time” as he detailed the myriad ways it has negatively affected his trade with the EU.

The business imports premium bike parts from the European Union, builds them and sells them in the UK but Gardiner said it's getting tougher to get cost-effective items on time without hassle.

The finished bicycle can cost as much as £7000 and the business employs Gardiner and his wife and business partner Irene, with other crew employed on an ad hoc basis.

READ MORE: Barrhead business loses out on £50k in EU funding due to Brexit

The Scottish businessman bemoaned the mountain of paperwork and red tape caused by the 2016 vote to leave the EU.

He said the increased burdens on businesses, that are disproportionately impacting small firms, means he is spending a lot of his time chasing up missing orders and filling out paperwork that wasn’t needed prior to Brexit.

Instead of selling bikes, Gardiner has had to dedicate more time to chasing up lost items while spending more money on transport costs, waiting longer for those items to arrive and struggling to track them on their way.

While many firms still want to do business with Gardiner, Laid Back Bikes have been forced to absorb the extra costs of doing business in a post-Brexit Britain.

And he’s not the first business to speak out about this. The National has spoken to a number of businesses that share similar concerns. Many Scottish businesses now face increased costs, delays and a big drop in revenue because of Brexit.

The National: David Gardiner said Brexit has made it harder for him to do business with the EUDavid Gardiner said Brexit has made it harder for him to do business with the EU

Gardiner told The National: “I've had to deal with the European mainland for years. And before getting a parcel from Amsterdam was just the same as getting the parcel from Cambridge - there was no difference, no more paperwork, and delivery times were reliable.

“Now, we don't know where parcels are. We spend a lot of time trying to track stuff down which just wastes our time.

“The whole thing is a gigantic waste of time on admin when in fact what we should be doing is addressing our core reason for being which is selling bikes and not worried about the actual admin of getting stuff through customs.

“Every day, I've got 50 invoices from a logistics company which all have to be accounted for in their fee agent account package.”

Despite using modern technology that used to make the admin part easy, now Gardiner says invoices are all done separately which means extra time devoted to just processing items.

The National: Laid Back Bikes gets parts from the EU but Brexit means those items can often get lost or take much longer than usual to arriveLaid Back Bikes gets parts from the EU but Brexit means those items can often get lost or take much longer than usual to arrive

Gardiner said a hefty chunk of his Vat forms are dedicated to Northern Ireland, which still effectively operates inside the EU’s single market.

He said Scotland could have been accommodated for in the way Northern Ireland was, saying if it’s possible for one nation in the UK it should be possible for another.

READ MORE: Scottish Highland shop owner ‘screwed’ by Brexit as cost of business goes up

He said: “I’d like Scotland to be in the single market. I mean, I’m looking at my Vat return and it makes you laugh. There are eight boxes to fill in and there of them are specially adapted for Northern Ireland. Scotland could quite easily have been accommodated."

He continued: “It would have been so much better if Scotland actually got what it voted for because Scotland's more reliant on trade with Europe.

“It doesn’t make any sense. It’s a completely stupid decision.”

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