UK food and drink exports to EU fall by £2bn in Q1 of 2021
HMRC said on Friday that British food and drink exports to the EU fell by £2bn in the first quarter of 2021, revealing structural problems with Brexit.
According to the data, sales of dairy products plummeted by 90% and exports of cheese were down by two-thirds when compared with 2020.
Sales of Whisky fell 32%, of chocolate by 37% and those of lamb and mutton by 14%.
At the country level, several food and drink exports to Ireland fell by 70.8% year on year, to Spain by 63%, Italy 61% and Germany 55%.
UK imports from the EU were also affected, with sales of wine down 20%, fruit 15.7% and vegetables 13.9%. Imports of cheese, chicken and beef from Ireland and elsewhere also fell.
Brexit checks, stockpiling and Covid have been blamed for much of the downturn.
On the other hand, the easing of Covid restrictions drove “strong growth” in exports to pre-pandemic levels in China, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea. Exports outside of Europe, account for 50% of all exports.