UK exports to EU set for 8% drop by 2025 but firms remain broadly optimistic about future trade

Mon 17 Jan 2022
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

uk stats

UK exports to the EU could drop by as much as 8% by 2025, new analysis has shown.

City broker IG Group analysed the UK’s export data to determine the impact of Brexit on the UK’s trade with the bloc.

Its conclusions, reported in City AM, found that smaller EU member states – including Finland, Luxembourg and Portugal – look set to benefit most from the UK’s departure from the bloc.

According to the Grocer, the sector most impacted could be food and drink, with sales down £2.7bn year on year in the year to November.

Widening deficit

New HMRC data for November suggests UK exports in general declined by 12% from October’s figures, with supply chain issues at the time likely to have taken their toll on businesses.

Imports increased by 6.8% in the month, though this may have been in part due to stockpiling ahead of the introduction of new rules for goods entering Britain from the EU that were about to be introduced on 1 January 2022.

EU hit

The BBC also reports that UK exports to the EU in the first ten months of 2021 were down 12% on pre-pandemic levels.

Exports from Britain to the rest of the world - non-EU countries - were down 7%.

Getting on with it

However, companies in the East of England are continuing to export to the EU despite new costs and procedures.

Mark Newton, managing director of LMK Thermosafe, told the BBC that his firm continued to do strong business with mainland Europe.

“Ultimately we have a business to run so we have to plough on. We can’t decide to give up 30% of our business to our European competitors,” he said.

Confident

Lee Steward, a director of Morrison Freight Forwarding, said documentation was now more onerous.

“In the past you could arrive at a location with one of two pieces of documentation. The paperwork is four to six times more now,” he said.

However, despite added compliance requirements, most businesses (70%) polled by the IOE&IT in 2021 said they were confident about their future trade with the EU.