UK overtaken in sales to EU by Putin’s pariah Russian state, despite EU-UK trade deal

Trading places: With friends like the EU, who needs enemies?

© Facts4EU.Org 2021

This year, UK’s sales to EU27 have dropped by more than for any other major country

Yesterday the EU published its trade figures for the first four months of this year. In its report, the EU’s statistics agency highlighted the following:-

“In the first four months of 2021, following the end of the transition period, in particular EU imports from the United Kingdom dropped significantly (by -27.1%).”

Official Eurostat report 15 Jun 2021

This drop was more than for any other country in the EU’s top 10 suppliers, by a long way.

In the same period, the EU bought 22.4% more from China. The Facts4EU.Org think-tank analyses the EU’s latest trade figures and wonders if the EU-UK trade deal is worth the candle.

EU27 has made a ‘profit’ of £10bn per month from the UK in goods trade so far this year

From January to April this year, the EU27 made €46.2bn (£39.8bn) in their trade in goods with the newly independent United Kingdom. This is the difference between the value of the goods they sold to the UK minus the value of the goods the UK sold to them.

The total value of the EU27’s sales to the UK was €87.9bn (£75.8bn). In return they bought just €41.7bn (£35.9bn) from the UK.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

EU sales to UK versus UK sales to EU

  • EU27’s goods sales to UK : £75.8bn
  • UK’s goods sales to EU27 : £35.9bn
  • Trade balance in favour of EU27 : +£39.8bn

[Source: EU Commission’s official statistics agency Eurostat, reporting 15 Jun 2021. Euros converted into GBP at 1.16.]

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

How does the EU’s closest major economy (the UK) fare, compared to other countries?

It goes without saying that comparing the first four months of this year with the first four months of last year is fraught with Covid confusion. For this reason it is helpful to look at the comparative performance of the UK versus the other major world suppliers to the EU27.

The EU’s closest major supplier – the United Kingdom - suffered the largest percentage drop of the top 10 EU27 suppliers. To take just one example, India managed to grow its sales to the EU27 by 14.4% compared to the same period last year, despite being in the grip of the ‘Delta variant’. By contrast the highly vaccinated UK’s sales to the EU27 dropped by 27.1%.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Percentage change in EU27’s imports – top 10 suppliers to EU
Jan-Apr 2021 compared to Jan-Apr 2020

  1. China (excl HK) : +22.4%
  2. Turkey +20.6%
  3. Norway +19.9%
  4. South Korea +15.9%
  5. India +14.5%
  6. Russia +12.4%
  7. Switzerland +3.2%
  8. Japan +2.3%
  9. United States -7.5%
  10. United Kingdom -27.1%

[Source: EU Commission’s official statistics agency Eurostat, reporting 15 Jun 2021.]

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

Putin’s Russia – a pariah state – has overtaken the UK in its sales into the EU

Incredibly and for the first time, Vladimir Putin’s Russia - a pariah state supposedly subject to EU sanctions - has overtaken the United Kingdom in sales to the EU27. It is now the third largest supplier to the EU, after China and the USA.

Russia’s economy is only 55% of the size of the UK’s economy, and yet so far this year it has sold more goods to the EU27 than has the UK.

The EU’s punitive behaviour towards the United Kingdom

Below are three basic facts which might help to explain the numbers.

1. The UK has adopted a light touch to border controls for EU products entering the UK. The EU has done the precise opposite to UK products entering the EU.

2. The UK has unilaterally allowed EU firms ‘equivalence’ to operate in financial services in the UK. The EU has done the opposite, actively trying to prevent City firms from operating in the EU.

3. The UK has unilaterally relaxed the EU’s imposed customs controls on GB products entering Northern Ireland, to preserve peace and maintain the territorial integrity of the United Kingdom. The EU is now taking the UK to the EU court for this.


As usual Facts4EU.Org has used the EU’s own data, released yesterday. In this way those who are anti-UK and pro-EU cannot accuse us of using selective data from the UK. In light of Covid, we have looked at the comparison between the EU’s purchases from the UK and the EU’s purchases from its other top 10 suppliers. This clearly shows that the UK is being disadvantaged.

The rote response from those who wish ill on an independent and sovereign United Kingdom to any such news is to say: “See, Brexit is a disaster, we told you so”, or words to that effect. Never once do they question whether it is the EU’s appalling behaviour towards the UK which is at fault.

It really is time to say enough is enough, ditch the N.I. Protocol, and go WTO

In two weeks’ time the UK Government must decide whether it will impose the EU’s rules making GB sales of sausages, burgers, and cold meats into Northern Ireland as difficult as possible. If – as it should – the UK Government refuses to impose these vindictive and nonsensical EU rules, the EU will almost certainly retaliate against the UK with more legal action to claim penalties, and by taking action to introduce tariffs on UK goods going to the EU.

The figures in our report above show how the EU’s closest major partner in trade is not benefiting from the so-called EU-UK ‘Trade and Cooperation Agreement’ signed by Boris Johnson. Quite the reverse. The EU27 are well on the way to increasing their massive trade surplus with the UK.

Facts4EU.Org were the originators of the ‘Go-WTO’ campaign in 2017. We wrote repeatedly that the EU would never behave reasonably and that the UK was better off going for trade on WTO terms. Our position is unchanged.

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[ Sources: EU Commission latest international trade statistics 15 Jun 2021 ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Wed 16 Jun 2021

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