Significant decline in trade data for the UK following Brexit

The Financial Times newspaper conducted an investigation and found that the United Kingdom is importing and exporting far less than it was before it left the European Union. After analyzing statistics released on Friday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK’s official information agency, the Financial Times came to its conclusion. According to the report, the data indicates that the goods trade decreased at the quickest five-year rate ever recorded between 2018 and 2023, with imports plunging by 3.8 percent and exports plunging by 12.4 percent.

 

Experts stated that the primary cause of the fall was unquestionably the country’s departure from the EU, also known as Brexit, which was finalized on December 31, 2020, when it withdrew from the bloc’s customs union and single market. The impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic and rapidly rising energy prices linked to the Russia-Ukraine conflict have clouded most recent economic data, according to Emily Fry, an economist at the Resolution Foundation think tank. However, the import/export slowdown over the five-year period revealed by the analysis of the ONS data was a “big sign” that Brexit was largely to blame. “A clear implication of this (data) is that the new trade barriers that were put in place by Brexit are having an effect on trade,” she said.

 

Despite being affected by the epidemic and high energy prices, other big countries performed better during the same period, according to John Springford, deputy head of the research tank Center for European Reform, who spoke with the daily. “The UK’s weak trade performance is unusual among advanced economies,” he stated. “The obvious culprit is Brexit.” The Office for Budget Responsibility, the country’s official watchdog on spending, recently released a report that further highlighted the UK economy’s poor performance in goods trading. It stated that trade intensity, or the percentage of the economy made up of imports and exports, was 1.7% lower in 2023 than it was in 2019, which was significantly lower than the G7 average of 1.9 percent larger.

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