Brexit means leaving our top trade partners then begging for a better deal

Two graphs show how important the EU is for British trade


According to Boris Johnson, Brexit was about liberating Britain from the shackles of the European Union, freeing us to taste the sweet nectar of global trade.

Where might Bozza’s colleague, disgraced former Defence Secretary and alleged International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, scamper off to first, with his briefcase stuffed with fountain pens and parchment, to sign the holy grail of deals abroad?

As these two graphs from the Office for National Statistics show, the juiciest of all trade deals would undoubtedly be with, er, the European Union, which receives nearly half of all UK exports (47 per cent), and from which Britain imports more goods than the rest of the world combined (53 per cent).

UK imports 2015

EU imports were worth £290,621 million to the UK in 2015, compared to £229,245 million from the rest of the world, and £27,368 million from the European Free Trade Association.

The biggest importers by country were the United States, with £59,258 million, and Germany, with £70,363 million.

UK imports 2015

UK exports to the EU were worth £230,031 million in 2015, against £259,955 million for the rest of the world, and £27,460 million for the EFTA.

Our top destinations for exports by country were the United States, with £96,425 million, and Germany with £48,501 million.

We’ll just have to hope the glorious new trade deals with the EU we’ve been promised by the government will be as good as the ones we already have.

Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13 

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