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Exports to the EU fall 40 per cent - Expert Comment

Dr Mark Harrison, Emeritus Professor of Economics, comments:-

"The January fall in Britain’s EU trade in goods is sharp. Three things are notable.

  •  The decline is clearly Brexit related; the monthly shock to Britain’s trade with the EU was roughly four times as large as with other regions.

  • The decline is across the board, nearly as severe for chemicals and the motor industry as for foodstuffs.
  • There is likely a transient element because some trading partners adapted to Brexit beforehand by stockpiling while for others the new trading regime was finalized with such little notice that they have not yet adapted. But this must be tempered by the realization that further restrictions on both exports and imports are still in store, such as those postponed earlier this week for a few months.

“Some proportion of the decline is not only inevitable: it is also the intended result of Brexit. However one chooses to understand the motivations of Brexit voters, their undoubted common factor was the sense that Britain as a country has had too much integration with the West European subcontinent. The purpose of the single market was to facilitate trade integration, so leaving the single market was bound to reduce trade. Less trade with the EU is a feature, not a bug.”

12 March 2021


Sheila Kiggins

Media Relations Manager

07876 218166