There will no doubt be some teething problems for businesses, but now a UK-EU trade deal has been done, we need to give it time to work, says Neil Parish MP, chairman of the Efra Select Committee.
This is my last Brexit Hub article for Farmers Guardian and what a journey it has been.
After four and a half tortuous years, we have now left the EU and are trading under different terms.
Some would say, though, the journey has only just begun when it comes to Brexit.
For a long time, farmers in my constituency and across the country, were concerned about the shock of ‘no deal’.
I think we all breathed a collective sigh of relief when the Prime Minister’s negotiating team came back from Brussels sprouting a deal on Christmas Eve.
Tariff and quota free access had been preserved, avoiding the worst disruption to trade.
But farm businesses, like many others in the manufacturing sector, are finding they are having to adapt to a raft of new export rules.
Ministers have said this month might be ‘bumpy’.
That, as we know, is civil servant speak.
There have already been reports of EU IT system failures, incorrect health certificates and customs forms delaying goods, as well as issues with haulier permits and groupage too.
In the fishing sector, the problems are particularly acute, given the goods are so perishable.
Even with a deal, there is a danger of EU countries misinterpreting or bending the rules slightly, causing delays and problems for our exporting businesses.
At some point, I am sure, the dispute resolution mechanisms within the trade agreement will be tested.
For now, though, I hope friendly co-operation and mutual understanding will do the job and we can work through any issues together.
When I was in the European Parliament, as MEP for the South West, I fought long and hard to get British beef back into the EU after the BSE crisis.
It was tough.
The French farmers have a lot of sway within the EU – and I admire them to a large degree for that.
I can only imagine the disruption we would have this month without a deal.
With an agreement at least, we are around the table, with a formal process to govern our relationship.
Whilst things may be tricky for our exporters now, I think processes can be worked through and streamlined in the next few weeks to improve the situation.
There will be difficulties - and already we are looking at pencilling in a session to examine our new EU trading relationship on the Efra Select Committee.
We need to give the deal a chance to work.
But if ‘teething problems’ turn out to be a little more serious, I can assure you the Efra Select Committee will be on hand with the drill.
Neil can be found tweeting at @neil_parish