Which EU countries bought most from the UK last year?

These results might surprise readers, but we will explain why

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2024

Facts4EU reveals the top EU buyers of the UK’s goods in 2023

Based on the latest data from the Commission, we present the UK’s best customers from the EU's empire, by country. We think some of these results will surprise readers.

This is despite the fact that the EU’s imports from around the world overall have been falling. As the EU has experienced economic difficulties, it has been buying less from other countries.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Purchases of UK goods by EU country, 2023

All figures in euros billions

  1. Netherlands : € 31.85
  2. Germany : € 30.52
  3. Ireland : € 26.89
  4. France : € 23.93
  5. Belgium : € 19.41
  6. Spain : € 10.29
  7. Italy : € 8.73
  8. Sweden : € 5.70
  9. Poland : € 4.24
  10. Czechia : € 2.62
  11. Denmark : € 2.51
  12. Austria : € 2.22
  13. Finland : € 1.61
  14. Cyprus : € 1.31
  15. Slovakia : € 1.29
  16. Portugal : € 1.15
  17. Romania : € 1.12
  18. Hungary : € 1.04
  19. Greece : € 0.92
  20. Lithuania : € 0.85
  21. Malta : € 0.41
  22. Bulgaria : € 0.40
  23. Latvia : € 0.24
  24. Slovenia : € 0.24
  25. Estonia : € 0.19
  26. Luxembourg : € 0.17
  27. Croatia : € 0.14
  28. TOTAL EU27 : € 179.98 bn

[Source : Eurostat (official EU Commission statistics agency), 13 May 2024.]

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2024 - click to enlarge

Some of the above, whilst coming from official figures, is of course ridiculous

The figures for both the Netherlands and Belgium are inflated because a large amount of UK goods traffic goes through those countries because of their ports, for onward shipment throughout the EU but also for trans-shipment around the world.

The reality is that a significant proportion of UK exports to the EU are not to the EU at all, but to the rest of the world. HMRC once estimated this to be around 4%. We have always believed the figure to be much higher.

So who are really the UK’s best customers?

Our best estimation of the true top 5 customers for UK products are :-

  1. Germany
  2. Republic of Ireland
  3. France
  4. Spain
  5. Italy


It is naturally important to stress that the UK’s exports of goods, whilst important, are a small fraction of the UK’s economy which is based around services.

As we reported recently, Brexit Britain’s global exports have soared by nearly 40% since leaving the EU. Total UK exports climbed by £240 billion in just four years, defying Project Fear completely.

The EU’s trade deals always focused on goods, which were the mainstay of the German economy. Services were barely mentioned. Now, Germany’s manufacturing sector is in trouble as we have reported recently.

One of the many benefits of Brexit is that the UK has been free to do trade deals across the globe which truly reflect British interests.

We must get reports like this out there

Reports like the one above take far longer to research, write and produce than many people realise. If they were easy, readers would see other organisations also producing these daily. However, there’s little point in the Facts4EU.Org team working long hours, seven days-a-week, if we lack the resources to promote them effectively – to the public, to MPs, and to the media. This is where you come in, dear reader.

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

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Tues 14 May 2024

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