The first year of Britain’s post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union (EU) has seen companies on the continent lose a larger percentage of their trade volume than exporters from the UK, according to research. assist.

A study of more than 1,200 products by the Center for Economic Performance (CEP) at the London School of Economics and Political Science, shows that UK imports will fall by 25% relative to the rest of the world in 2021. .

It reported that exports to the bloc avoided continued declines by the same measure, with the decline being smaller and only temporary.

However, it warned that commercial relations with the continent had been affected, especially by small companies struggling after the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) kicked off on Jan. January 2021.

“We see a smaller and only temporary drop in the UK’s relative exports to the EU (after Brexit).

Report co-author Rebecca Freeman added: “Although it is surprising that imports were hit harder than exports in the first year of TCA, it would be a mistake to conclude that exporters were not affected. .”

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The study said it supports claims by business groups that leaving the EU single market and customs union has been detrimental to small businesses.

Thomas Sampson, another co-author and associate professor of economics at LSE, said: “TCA has increased the costs of trade, which has resulted in a decrease in imports from the EU and a decrease in the number of products exported to the EU by traders. British person.

“These changes make the UK a harder place to do business.”

The report does not seek to look at the long-term effects of TCA although the new regime is further complicated by the pandemic-related disruption seen globally leading to backlogs at ports.

The report comes days after figures showed a partial recovery in freight traffic between the UK and the port of Dublin – Ireland’s largest port – in the first three months of 2022.

A government spokesman said of the findings: “Through our Export Support Service, expanded export academies, and a landmark export strategy, we are ensuring that businesses of all sizes have the support they need to trade effectively with Europe and seize new opportunities as we conduct commerce around the world.

“Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the global supply chain, we have introduced import controls in phases throughout 2022 to give businesses more time to prepare.

“Through our targeted multimedia campaign and a series of field-based webinars, businesses are also registered with relevant import information and support to help them.”

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