UK trade volumes suffer record five-year decline

Press quote (Financial Times)
01 March 2024

“The UK’s weak trade performance is unusual among advanced economies,” said John Springford, associate fellow at the Centre for European Reform think-tank. He added that most countries saw an increase in goods trade after the pandemic, but “the UK did not participate in the boom thanks to the trade barriers that it imposed upon itself”. “The obvious culprit is Brexit,” he said.

Springford said the weakness of UK trade with both EU and non-EU countries may have been because Britain had missed out on the strong growth of intra-EU trade in recent years. “We can infer that the UK’s goods exports to the EU would have grown more than its exports to the rest of the world if Brexit hadn’t happened,” he said.