The government is preparing to launch a Brexit helpline for British businesses and has awarded the contract for providing the service to an Indian company.
The Department for International Trade will announce details of the hotline this week. It will help companies to negotiate a range of new rules, including documentation and physical checks on goods, that are due to come into force next year.
A source said last night that the contract had been awarded to Hinduja Global Solutions, an IT services management company that is listed in Mumbai and has operations in Britain. Its biggest shareholder is the Hinduja Group, led by the billionaire brothers Gopi and Sri Hinduja.
Businesses are warning that Brexit red tape is adding to pressures including labour shortages and rising transport and commodity costs. Ministers have delayed the checks on goods entering Britain from the European Union until the start of next year after fears that Christmas could be disrupted.
However, from January 1, businesses will face full customs declarations and controls. Further trade hurdles will be phased in after that. Export health certificates for animal food products will be introduced in July. Importers also will have to provide documentation and be ready for physical checks of sanitary and phytosanitary products such as meat, cheese and eggs from July. New safety and security declarations on imports will be required.
Hinduja Global Solutions did not respond to a request for comment. The Department for International Trade declined to comment.