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Lower appetite for British food and drink in EU


Since officially leaving the EU, the UK has seen exports reduce by a quarter, with a total of £2.4 billion in lost sales. Certain countries have seen more of a dip than others. For example, Spain, Germany, and Italy’s imports from Britain are down by 50.6%, 44.5%, and 43.3%, respectively. Even Ireland has seen a significant decline, which is particularly worrying, as it was Britain’s largest country for food exporting.

All of this means a severe impact on Britain’s economy, something which recent data from the ONS has highlighted in stark reality.

Brexit’s impact on food and beverage exports

With Britain no longer working under the EU’s trading policies, trade isn’t as simple. With more barriers in place, there are increased costs, meaning countries in the EU aren’t as willing to import.

The TCA – the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation – was a free trade agreement signed on 30th December 2020, which became into effect on 1st January 2021. This agreement saw the tightening of rules and detailed all the customs requirements and restrictions.

This has particularly affected the food and drink sectors with more red tape increasing costs and causing delays at ports.

Brexit is not entirely at fault, though – the COVID pandemic has also had a significant impact on food and drink exports too.

OBR on the post-Brexit economy

The TCA changed everything in terms of trading between Britain and the EU. Before, it was almost entirely free trade; now, different policies are leading to a reduction in activity. While there was a notable rise in food and drink exports to non-EU countries (11%), that growth did not make up for the loss of trade into the EU.

The OBR stated that Brexit equalled a reduction of 4% of the UK’s potential GPD, which is significant. It also said that the pandemic has had a severe impact and could further that by another 2%.

“The OBR observed that the UK’s goods trade with the rest of the world experienced similarly sharp falls at the start of the pandemic.”

These observations indicate that UK businesses are struggling with exporting, trading, and overall economic growth. It’s affecting everyone, but if you’re a trader, you are likely to be looking for a solution. You can still grow internationally by thinking strategically, adapting your methods, and finding new markets.

Create an export strategy with Go Exporting

Whilst Brexit has hampered trade with the EU, there are opportunities for UK firms to grow through Brexit growing pains by looking further afield. 

Our international trade consultancy can help identify new markets to grow into. We have an expert team ready to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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