ONS statistics revealed that a combination of COVID-19 and Brexit have caused UK trade in goods with EU countries to decrease by 23.1% in Q1 2021, compared to Q1 2018. 

In response to the findings, please see below a comment from Atul Bhakta, CEO of One World Express. I hope this is useful, but pleased don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like any further information or commentary. 

Atul Bhakta, CEO of One World Express, said: “Brexit and COVID-19 created a perfect storm for a trading slump. A complex web of travel bans, new administrative processes and social distancing measures have driven many businesses to pause cross-border trade – in fact, 64% of UK businesses found 2020 to be their most challenging year ever, according to research from One World Express.
“Positively, however, the UK could be turning a corner. The successful vaccine rollout, coupled with a better grasp of post-Brexit customs regulations, seems to be reigniting trading activity. Adding to this, we are seeing a growing demand for “Brand UK” in markets such as South East Asia, as well as promising trade deals with the likes of Australia in the offing, which will add to business confidence. 
“Clearly, the UK’s trading levels have some way to go before returning to pre-pandemic levels. Yet promising trading opportunities – particularly ones beyond the EU – are continuing to present themselves. As such, I predict that the outlook for UK exports, and business growth more generally, will begin to look increasingly positive over the coming months.”