New Government figures show a massive post-Brexit slump in UK exports to Germany, France, Italy and Spain – and reveal the UK failed to transition to key export markets such as the USA and China.
Statistics published by the Office for National Statistics show combined exports to Germany have fallen from £56.3 billion in 2019 – the year before the UK left the EU – to £50.3 billion in 2020, a collapse of over £6 billion.
Worse still, they fell even further in 2021, to £47.3 billion. Comparing the results for 2019 and 2021, that’s a slump of almost £10 billion in exports to Germany alone.
Exports to France tell a similar story.
Total exports of goods and services to our nearest Continental neighbour totalled £40.3 billion in 2019. In 2020, they slumped to £31.8 billion, a collapse of over £8.4 billion. In 2021, they picked up falteringly to £32.3 billion, but that’s still over £7.9 billion shy of where they had been pre-Brexit.
No warmth in Spain
For those hoping for more warmth from our export figures to Spain, there is further disappointment.
In 2019, before Brexit struck, our combined exports were £19.4 billion. In 2020, they plummeted to £14.3 billion and they fell by a further billion, to £13.2 billion, in 2021.
Commenting on the figures, ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks, said: “Britain’s exporters of goods, from food to cars, have all suffered from the impact of the poorly negotiated Brexit trade agreement and increased red tape and duties.
“The same applies to services, from finance to computing, which now fall outside the regulated EU services market.
“Perhaps most disappointingly, these latest results reveal Britain failed to successfully transition away from the EU to other lucrative overseas markets – one of the positive outcomes promised by Brexiteers. Looking at two vital export markets beyond the EU, the numbers also tumbled.”
Special trading relationship with America
Promises of a special trading relationship with America have yet to materialise.
Back in 2019, we exported £141.4 billion of goods and services to the USA. In 2020, the first year of Brexit, that collapsed to £127.7 billion. That’s a fall of over £13 billion.
In 2021, those figures rose to £133.1 billion but were still over £8 billion short of where they were pre-Brexit.
And the growth market of China, which British companies such as Jaguar-Land Rover had made a key priority, produced another collapse.
In pre-Brexit 2019, the UK exported £35.9 billion of goods and services to China. In 2020, that tumbled to £27.2 billion, a slump of nearly £9 billion.
The following year, there was a moderate improvement, as combined figures rose to £27.5 billion, but this was still well short of their 2019 total.
Jinks concluded: “With the shadow of the Northern Ireland Protocol bill hanging over the next stage of post-Brexit discussions, it’s a concerning situation that Kemi Badenoch, the incoming Secretary of State for International Trade, has inherited.”