Food and drink exports to the EU almost halved in the first three months of the year, compared to the same period in 2020, according to figures shared by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) . The trade body said the drop was largely due to changes in the UK’s trade relationship with the bloc, but said the pandemic was also a factor. It comes after many warned of the short-term impacts that would be felt by Brexit, especially within the EU.
Data from the Redfield and Wilton Strategies survey revealed that Italy would be the most likely of the ‘big four’ member states to consider leaving the EU if Brexit were to be good for Britain.
What’s more, nearly half of Italians polled said they would be likely to support their country’s exit from the EU if the UK and its economy were considered healthy five years from now.
In this case, France and Spain both showed moderate support for changing their relations with the bloc, while Germany was the member state least likely of the four main players to consider leaving. The union.
France topped the list with 45% agreeing that the UK ‘will prosper’, while Italy was right behind with 43% – but none had more than 25% agree.
In Spain, 35% believed Brexit would ultimately be a success for the UK, while only 31% of Germans agreed to some extent, compared to 43% who disagreed.
The survey assessed the opinions of 1,500 people in each of the four countries – 6,000 people in total – between July 17 and July 18, 2020.
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On December 31, the transition period in effect since Britain left the EU ended.
This meant that cross-Channel trade was for the first time subject to new post-Brexit regulations and customs formalities.
This FDF claims that this had a particularly significant impact on trade in animal products and other perishable foodstuffs as it caused significant delays in completing formalities.
“If you lose two days or even three days, that takes away a lot of the shelf life of the product, making the business itself less viable. “
The government said it was “too early to draw firm conclusions” on the long-term impact of Brexit.
They added: “The most recent trade statistics from the ONS show that for March and April, overall exports to the EU exceeded average levels in 2020.”