And Facts4EU’s editor-in-chief Leigh Evans said Brussels must now consider is wisdom of alienating consumers in a marketplace which is often dubbed “Treasure Island” in reference to the vast quantity of goods exported by members of the EU27. Facts4EU used figures from the Office of National Statistics to compare the value of goods imported from EU and non-EU countries in March 2021 with the same period two years ago.
In March 2019, important from the EU27 totalled £25.2billion, compared with £17.8billion for the rest of the world.
This year, EU imports had fallen significantly, to £18.9billion (a drop of 29.4 percent), while non-EU imports stood at £19.3billion (up 2.1 percent) – meaning the latter outstripped the former for the first time since records began.
The report also indicates a year-on-year drop in the value of imports from the EU27.
In light of the ongoing post-Brexit wrangles over issues such as fishing access and the Northern Ireland Protocol, Mr Evans suggested consumers were beginning to punish the bloc.
He explained: “Over the past few years we have reported that officials in some EU countries (particularly Germany) have referred to the United Kingdom as ‘Treasure Island’.
“The reason for this is simple. We buy so much from them.
“Far more than they buy from us, as we have reported in detail many times.”
He said: “It’s possible that some people now seem to be voting with their wallets in protest against the EU’s behaviour towards the UK.
“All of us have heard people saying how their buying decisions have changed and that they’re now trying to avoid buying EU products and services.”
With specific reference to Facts4EU’s analysis, he added: “Any official trade statistics need to be treated with caution at this point due to Covid and the Brexit transition.
“But the trend over the last two years doesn’t look good for the EU27 as we’ve shown in our report.”
Mr Evans concluded: “Maybe our latest survey of opinion, due out in the next couple of days, will shed more light on this.
“The big question now is whether the EU Commission cares about the impact on jobs and the economies of the EU27 countries as a result of them trying to punish Brexit Britain for leaving. We doubt it.”