UK Warns About Trade Disaster
UK food and drink exports to the European Union have almost halved in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2020. Market players speak of a disaster for the industry, says the BBC.
Shipments to the EU have collapsed by 47 per cent. The decline was mainly due to changes in trade agreements because of Brexit, also the pandemic was a factor. Experts told the publication that British manufacturers are already suffering huge losses.
Compared to the first quarter of 2019, cheese exports are down 72 per cent, fish sales are down 52 per cent and chocolate sales are down 37 per cent. Trade relations with Ireland, the UK’s biggest market, have suffered the most. Exports fell by more than 70 per cent and shipments to Germany, Spain and Italy fell by half.
For decades, the UK has been selling sold more food and drink to the EU than the rest of the world combined. Now the situation has changed.
The UK left the EU on 1 February 2020. In January 2021 the transition period that was in force after Brexit, during which the United Kingdom was subject to all European regulations, expired.
Earlier UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson threatened the countries of Europe with a new trade war. The reason for this could be a legal conflict over the supply of goods to Northern Ireland.
The Brexit agreement stipulates that Northern Ireland gets dual status, while remaining part of the UK and a customs territory of the EU. Because of this, goods entering there from the rest of the kingdom are subject to customs inspection.