Exports

Brexit’s damaging British trade – not Covid

Brexit is beginning to take its toll

Brexit is beginning to take its toll. Trade with the EU is suffering and foreign investment is heading south. Neither trend is temporary and both harm the government’s stated aim of “levelling up” regions that until now have depended on overseas trade to create well-paid jobs.

It’s not clear whether the red wall has noticed. Or anyone among the 17.4 million people who voted for Brexit. So far, all the in-depth polling shows there is little movement on the vexed question of EU membership.

It’s not Covid that’s damaging British trade. It’s Brexit – The Observer – July 2021

Brexit appears to be preventing the UK from benefiting fully from the global upswing in trade

There are just too many independent reports examining the UK’s trade figures that are reaching the same conclusion: Brexit is bad for exporters. And not just today and tomorrow, but for a very long time.

At first glance, analysis of the most recent data suggests the impact of Brexit was relatively small. In May, the UK registered a trade surplus for the first time since June 2020, and goods exports to the EU were nearly back to pre-Covid levels.

But closer inspection by the consultancy Pantheon Macroeconomics found that “the damage is more apparent, and Brexit appears to be preventing the UK from benefiting fully from the global upswing in trade”. As a percentage of total EU imports, the ONS’s measure of the UK share is below its 2019 average level. “In other words, UK exporters have lost market share,” says Pantheon.

It’s not Covid that’s damaging British trade. It’s Brexit – The Observer – July 2021

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