UK is still EU’s second-largest customer for goods – EU 2020 figures

The UK is also the customer with the second-highest trade surplus for the EU

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2020

The EU tries to airbrush out this fact, as usual, in its latest Q1 2020 figures

Below is the table issued by the EU on Friday (15 May 2020). It shows the EU’s “Main Trading Partners”. The reality as far as most of its citizens are concerned, though, is different. Firstly, we show the EU’s version.

© EU Commission statistics agency - click to enlarge

The emphasis of the EU’s report which it released on Friday – as can be seen below from the title of its document – is clearly on the EU’s trade surplus with the rest of the world, which now includes the UK.

© EU Commission statistics agency - click to enlarge

Now here is the reality – and it shows the United Kingdom in a truer light

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

The importance of UK market to the EU

Sadly, when it comes to ranking countries with whom the EU trades, the EU Commission prefers :-

  • Not to use the trade surplus measure (which puts the UK at no.2, just after USA)
  • Nor to use the biggest customer measure (which puts the UK at no.2, just after USA)
  • The EU sold the UK over €75bn of goods in just three months

Instead it adds imports together with exports which puts China (marginally) above the UK. However, in the first three months of this year (2020) :-

  • The EU has a massive trade deficit with China : -€39.1bn
  • The EU has a massive trade surplus with the UK : +€29.5bn

In Jan-Mar 2020, the EU’s sales to the UK were 68% higher than they were to China

Finally, here are our revised tables for the EU Commission

We have recreated the EU’s table, and sorted it in two ways. We think these better reflect the true “international trade in goods surplus”.

We start by sorting it by the trade surplus itself, as this is what the EU’s report was supposed to be about.

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

And here is the table again, which we have sorted by “biggest customer”.

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge


Readers can see for themselves that in the first quarter of this year the United Kingdom continues to be the EU’s second-biggest market for goods, dwarfing that of China. Readers can also see that the EU continues to earn a huge trade surplus from the UK.

"Call yourselves a facts organisation? This is just fake news."

Each time we produce positive information like this, showing how the United Kingdom is an important country to the EU and to others around the world, we are attacked - often in not particularly pleasant terms. We report on news like this because if we didn't, anti-Brexit campaigners would be able to continue to persuade the British public that the UK is some insignificant little backwater.

The United Kingdom does of course have one of the largest economies in the world and wields significant influence on the world stage. (Not that you would know it, if you watch the BBC or Sky News, or listen to an FCO civil servant.)

If this were not true, why is it that 4.5 times the number of EU27 citizens have come to live in the UK than UK citizens going to live in the EU27? [From official EU data.]

For anti-Brexit campaigners, we will simply stress that once again we have used the EU’s own latest figures, released on Friday. We have even replicated the EU’s own table. If you don’t like what this is telling you – and if you hate your own country so much that you want to belittle it at every opportunity – then we suggest that you take this up with the EU Commission, not us. (While you’re talking to the Commission in Brussels, you might also want to consider applying for Belgian citizenship at the same time?)

The United Kingdom MUST transition out of the EU as quickly as possible

Looking at the EU’s latest export figures it’s no wonder the EU’s ideological zealots want to keep the UK in its current EU colony status, by extending the “Transition Period”. And it’s no wonder they then want to tie the UK into a one-sided trade agreement which would make the whole of the UK subservient to the EU’s laws and policies for a generation.

We would suggest that these latest trade figures from the EU provide yet another reason why the United Kingdom must stand resolute. The Government is right to say that the EU’s current position in the trade talks is untenable and that no country in the world would agree to the EU’s terms. Indeed we don’t think any other country in the world would have signed the Withdrawal Agreement in January, and that this should be repudiated if possible.

In any event we must exit the EU completely, as soon as possible and at the latest by 31 December 2020.

* * *

If you found this article interesting and useful – and let’s face it, you won’t see this official information on the TV – can you please help to keep us going with a donation? Quick, confidential, and secure donation methods are below. Thank you so much.

[ Sources: EU Commission statistics agency | ONS ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Tues 19 May 2020

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