Analysis

What does the collapse in UK exports to the EU really tell us about Brexit?

The government is arguing that temporary factors are responsible for the huge drop in EU trade in January. But is that justified? Ben Chu investigates

Friday 12 March 2021 23:10
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<p>The drop in trade is far bigger than following previous Brexit deadlines, suggesting stockpiling cannot realistically explain the entire drop</p>

The drop in trade is far bigger than following previous Brexit deadlines, suggesting stockpiling cannot realistically explain the entire drop

The headline figures seem to say it all. In January – the first month after the end of the post-Brexit transition – UK exports to the rest of Europe collapsed by 40 per cent, according to the latest official trade figures from the Office for National Statistics.

By contrast exports to non-EU countries rose slightly in the month.

This seems to be clear evidence that Brexit is having the negative impact on UK exporters to the EU that businesses and economists warned about so loudly.

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