By the end of the year, Britain will be removed from Germany’s list of ten largest trading partners. This was indicated by data released this week by the German Statistics Office Testadis. Britain will exit Germany’s 10 largest trading partners in more than 70 years.
In the first six months of this year, German imports from Britain fell by almost 11% year-on-year. This was the result of London’s exit from the European Union, which was followed by the introduction of tariffs and other restrictions on mutual trade. The island nation’s position in Germany’s ten largest trading partners is expected to worsen again this year, and London is expected to exit Germany’s top 10 trading partners.
The BBC reports that Britain has been one of Germany’s 10 largest trading partners since 1950. Until the referendum on leaving the EU in June 2016, it was even in the top five. After the referendum, Britain’s position gradually declined to 9th place last year. The exit from the EU single market at the end of December last year has significantly complicated trade relations, and by the end of this year, London will be the 11th largest trading partner in Germany.
Michael Schmidt, president of the British Chamber of Commerce in Germany, said Britain’s exit from the single market had made German companies more likely to look to suppliers from other EU countries, and that the trend was intensifying. “More and more small and medium-sized companies are stopping importing from the UK because of new restrictions on trade,” he said, adding that new rules such as health certificates for cheese and cheese and other new foods are too burdensome.
Agriculture and pharmaceuticals have been hit hard by London’s exit from the single market. Imports of British goods from these sectors fell by 80% and 50%, respectively, in the first six months of this year.
On the other hand, British imports from Germany did not decrease, on the contrary. In the first six months of this year, imports of German goods to Britain increased by 2.6%.
According to Schmidt, the new reality in trade will do more harm to British small businesses than to German businesses. Unlike the Germans, British companies are not accustomed to selling their products outside the European Union. “Brexit has caused many small businesses in the UK to lose the most important export market,” Schmidt added.
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