Post-Brexit EU Exports To UK Fell By 2.7 Times More Than Its Exports To Rest Of World

Graham Charles Lear
4 min readApr 4, 2021


The latest official EU trade report reveals the Brexit effect on the EU and its quite dramatic.

I have analysed the latest official international trade figures from the EU’s statistics agency, and the results should give concern to the EU’s major exporting companies and countries.

Specifically, I looked at one metric — the fall in the EU’s exports to the UK compared to the rest of the world. Recently some pro-EU commentators seized on the fall in the UK’s exports to the EU bloc, but what happened in the opposite direction? What has been the effect for the EU’s exporters to the UK?

The results are startling.

Stripping out the Coronavirus and the Brexit stockpiling effects

It is important to stress that COVID-19 has reduced most countries’ exports and this is certainly true for almost all EU countries, as it is for the UK. So with exports falling across the board, the important comparisons are these.

1. How much have the EU’s exports to the UK fallen in comparison with the fall in exports to the rest of the world?

EU’s fall in exports in Jan 2021, compared to Jan 2020

  • EU’s fall in exports to rest of world 10.8%
  • EU’s fall in exports to the UK 27.4%

[Source: EU official statistics agency, Eurostat, latest report Mar 2021]

2. How much effect did pre-Brexit stockpiling have?

The ONS suggests that many UK companies bought more — in a stockpiling exercise — from the EU in the period up to the UK finally exiting the European Union on 31 December 2020. I, therefore, looked at the data to see if the dramatic fall in the EU’s latest export figures for January could be explained by UK companies stockpiling at the end of last year and then buying less in January.

The pre-Brexit increase and then fall in EU exports to the UK (year-on-year)

  • December increase in EU exports to UK, pre-Brexit +14.2%
  • January fall in EU exports to UK, post-Brexit 27.4%

[Source: Office for National Statistics and Eurostat, latest reports Mar 2021]

In December there was a 14.2% year-on-year increase in imports from the EU. This does indeed suggest a ‘pre-Brexit stockpiling’ effect. However, the fall in imports from the EU when the UK exited the EU in January this year was almost double this figure, at -27.4%. One month’s figures should of course always be treated with caution and it remains to be seen whether a trend will develop.

The last six years since the EU Referendum has seen the EU act in an increasingly hostile manner towards the United Kingdom. On a regular basis, I HAVE documented the dictatorial and vitriolic behaviour from Brussels. Never has this been more apparent than in the EU’s debacle over its disastrous COVID-19 vaccine performance.

With the US-German Pfizer vaccine reliant on the UK’s exports to EU-based factories of the essential ingredients to make the vaccine, what does the EU say? “We export to the UK but the UK exports nothing back.” No mention of all the vaccine components exported from the UK to the EU.

The unelected EU Commission has imposed an export ban called an “Implementing Regulation” which has not even been agreed by the EU Council leaders of the 27 countries. Has the UK Government reciprocated by banning the export to the EU of the essential vaccine ingredients needed by EU-based pharma companies in order to make the vaccines there? No.

Without the UK’s exports to the EU, the EU’s already lamentable vaccination performance would sink yet further.

In no way can the EU claim any high ground in this mess. They have been exposed, red in tooth in claw for the whole world to see.

Does Brussels really want to see UK companies and consumers buy more from “anyone but the EU”?

Turning to the fall in the EU’s exports to the UK compared to the rest of the world, it would not be a surprise to me if there were not a significant shift in British public opinion when it comes to buying products made in the EU.

My sense tells us that the public still feels warmly towards the citizens in the countries involved in the sclerotic EU enterprise. “Love Europe, hate the EU” is still a common refrain I see daily.

The problem lies with the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels and certain nationalist leaders of EU countries such as Monsieur Macron of France. They may well rue the day they insulted and tried to bully the UK, History should tell everyone that we British don't give in easily, we are at our best when our backs are against a wall. It would be a great shame if the citizens of the EU27 countries suffer job losses and hardship as a result of these politicians and unelected and extremist ideologues, but if this appalling behaviour continues any longer I suspect that Brexit Britain will turn even faster to its friends around the world for its products, in preference to those from the EU. and I will not blink an eye at the suffering that will come across the waters of the English channel. After all, 27 countries can do what we did and leave, that they don't, show’s they have the same syndrome as a partner in an abusive relationship, sometimes you have to be nasty to be kind. [ Sources: Eurostat — official EU statistics agency | UK Office for National Statistics ]



Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.