The number of British businesses exporting goods to the European Union plummeted by a third in 2021, shocking new data has revealed.
According to figures from HMRC, just 18,357 businesses exported goods to the EU in 2021 – down from 27,321 in 2020.
Speaking to City AM, Michelle Dale – a senior manager at accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young – suggested the fall is a consequence of the extra red tape businesses must deal with when exporting to the continent.
“Businesses are not getting enough support from the government to navigate the post-Brexit trading minefield,” she said.
“A lot of SMEs can’t afford professional advice to cope with Brexit-related red tape. Many are likely to have decided trading with the EU is not worth the cost,” Dale added.
“Fewer UK companies exporting to the EU will result in lost opportunities for growth and expansion in Europe.”
It comes as Stanley Johnson has said the UK’s leadership “from the front” during the Ukraine crisis demonstrates why Brexit was a “probably a good idea”.
‘Probably a good idea’
Speaking on LBC, the prime minister’s father said: “At this moment you have to say Europe needs to pull its socks up.
“I mean, Germany is saying they can’t cut back on its oil imports. Well, why isn’t the rest of Europe coming to help Germany?”
He added: “I say to myself, in this particular case, Brexit was probably a good idea, because Boris has been able to lead from the front here
“Europe needs to come in behind us in a big way. And I’m not yet convinced that they’ve got the message.”