Atul Bhakta, CEO of One World Express commented on the statistics: “The sharp annual fall in exports from the UK to the EU was to be expected. Regardless of the Brexit deal that was struck between the two, the early months of 2021 were always going to involve a period of acclimatisation as businesses got their heads around the new trading rules. Throw in Covid-related challenges, and the climate has not been conducive to British firms exporting goods.
“That said, we are clearly turning a corner, and it is positive to see a significant rise in trading levels between January and February. Following the successful vaccine roll-out, the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions and enough time to understand new Brexit rules, UK businesses’ will be feeling more confident about their international trading prospects. Indeed, this might mean looking beyond the EU, to other global markets where demand for ‘Brand UK’ is high, such as India or the Far East.
“Looking ahead, I do not think the fall in UK-EU trade levels will be a permanent feature. The EU will remain an important trading partner for British companies and vice versa. However, businesses would be wise to explore all options as the country cautiously emerges from lockdown. Doing so could unlock some lucrative post-Brexit opportunities.”