Brexit disruption led to a 23% drop in UK-EU merchandise trade in Q1 Business News

UK merchandise trade with the EU fell 23% in the first quarter of the year, with exports to Ireland particularly hard hit by the Brexit disruptions.

Trade with third countries only fell by 0.8%, according to official figures. The data is compared to 2018, as that was the last time UK business models were “relatively stable,” the Office for National Statistics said in its latest analysis of the impact of Brexit and the coronavirus on the economy British.

Among companies that reported problems at the end of February 2021, Brexit was the most frequently cited cause.

This increased from mid-December 2020. In contrast, numbers reporting the coronavirus as the main challenge declined over the same period.

Excluding precious metals, imports of goods from EU countries fell by 14.0 billion pounds (21.7%) between the last three months of 2020 and the first three months of 2021.

Exports fell by £ 7.1 billion (18.1 percent. Declines have been consistent for a number of trading partners, the ONS said.

Imports from Germany have declined since April 2019, coinciding with increased uncertainty around EU trade and, later in 2020, with the pandemic.

The ONS warned that it was difficult to disentangle the effects of the pandemic and Brexit. However, he added: “While this evidence does not provide a causal link between the end of the EU’s transition period and the decline in total trade observed in the first quarter of 2021, it does allow us to determine whether traders are having more difficulty with the coronavirus or the end of the transition period, and how these have changed over time. “

The analysis was released because separate figures showed government borrowing fell in April, lower than analysts had expected.

As foreclosure restrictions began to ease, net public sector borrowing rose to £ 31.7 billion. The figure was £ 15.6 billion lower than the same month a year ago, but still the second highest borrowing figure on record for April.

Tax revenue for the month was £ 58bn, up £ 3.8bn from April 2020. Central government bodies spent £ 95.9bn – down from £ 12.9 billion compared to a year earlier.

The ONS has also revised down its estimates of the total deficit for last year, which have reached levels not seen since World War II, from £ 303.1 billion to £ 300.3 billion – or 14.3% of gross domestic product (GDP).

Total public debt was £ 2.17 trillion at the end of April, the highest level since 1962, relative to the size of the economy. However, with interest rates at historically low levels, the cost of servicing debt remains lower than in many previous years.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “In the budget, I outlined the steps we are taking to keep public finances on a sustainable basis by containing debt over the medium term.

“But we also need to focus on stimulating a strong economic recovery from the pandemic. That’s why the government continues to provide a comprehensive package of support to help businesses and workers get back on their feet – and the evidence shows our Jobs Plan is working.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-25 10:00:44