Our trade with the world

Our Trade with the EU and the world

There are two factors to take into account.

  1. These are approximate figures and are correct within a 4% error margin. The EU sell approximately £13 billion of goods and services each year to the UK and the UK sell approximately £6 billion pounds to the EU, leaving a £7 billion surplus in the EU’s favour.
  2. In addition to that, all goods sold to the rest of the world, which pass through Rotterdam and Antwerp are classed as being sold to the first country the merchant vessel calls in, even if the majority of goods are for, say, Australia or New Zealand.

So, when figures are paraded about of what we sell to the EU, what they aren’t mentioning is the goods which go to container ports in Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Antwerp (Belgium) for onward sailing to the rest of the world.

United Kingdom's Top Trading Partners

  • United States: US$64.4 billion (13.3% of total UK exports)
  • China: $27.5 billion (5.7%)
  • Switzerland: $25.4 billion (5.2%)

Outside of the EU and totals $117.3 billion

  • Germany: $47 billion (9.7%)
  • Netherlands: $33.3 billion (6.9%)
  • France: $31.8 billion (6.6%)
  • Ireland: $28.3 billion (5.9%)
  • Belgium: $19.1 billion (4%)

Inside the EU and totals $159.5 billion

[this figure includes goods which go to container ports in Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Antwerp (Belgium) for onward sailing to the rest of the world.]

When we leave the EU the difference between our sales to the EU and the EU sales to us, is £13 billion.

There are WTO rules about using this money, so money in tariffs on sales to the EU should, naturally, be paid by the company. But money from tariffs on EU goods should be paid into the Exchequer which then become anonymous!

Now, I think those selling goods to the EU should be encouraged to sell to other countries. We could charter planes to fly business people on a round trip to India, China, Australia, Japan and New Zealand. And hold a hotel floor for our exporters and potential importers in each country’s capitals to meet up with our business people..

I mean, the Exchequer is £13 billion better off and although we can’t use that money, there is no reason why we can’t use other of our funds there.

The EU needs our goods. Major imports from the EU are cars and wine. We can buy cars from Japan, Korea, America. And let’s face it, how many of us actually pay exorbitant prices for French wine?

The Telegraph writes “French wine consumption has dropped by three billion bottles to just four billion bottles” and this is since 1980“.

The French know this, which is why they are stockpiling their wines in Britain, ahead of Brexit.

Personally, I prefer South African and American wines, closely followed by Chilean, New Zealand and Australian.

There are alternatives in all products out there and I make it a habit of only buying goods from the continental EU and Ireland if there is absolutely no alternative. This is a personal matter as I happen to love your country, I am not suggesting you follow suit.