Jacob Rees-Mogg, the brand new minister for Brexit opportunities, has said that “Brexit was already a success” and businesses have not been hurt by the UK’s departure from the EU.
On the contrary, because when asked whether Brexit had reduced UK trade, Rees-Mogg replied: “I think Brexit has been extremely beneficial for the country.”
“I think the evidence that Brexit has caused trade drops is few and far between.”Jacob Rees-Mogg, the brand new minister for Brexit opportunities
His remarks come as the ONS said that UK exports to EU countries shrunk by a record £20bn in just 20 months.
Sales to the EU dropped more significantly in 2021 than exports to any other country in the world, the ONS data shows, as UK to EU exports nosedived 12 per cent between January and December of last year, compared to the previous year.
Meanwhile, non-EU exports were down by 6 per cent.
In total, exports were down by 10 per cent. Supply chain disruption, new trade barriers and additional red tape were cited as the main reasons.
Non-EU imports bigger than EU buys
As a result, annual UK goods imports from outside the EU have surpassed the value of those from within it for the first time since ONS records began in 1997.
Imports from the UK’s nearest trading bloc totalled £22.2bn compared to £25.4bn from all other countries in 2021 as the end of the Brexit transition period combined with an increase in global fuel imports reversed the historical trend, analysis of the latest data from Ebury showed.