MADRID – The United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union was the major political claim during British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s term in office. However, the consequences have been disastrous for international trade, especially for Spain.
Brexit has cost Spain 18 billion euros in trade with the United Kingdom. In 2021, the first full year of Brexit – exports of goods and services from the United Kingdom to Spain amounted to 13.1 billion pounds (about 15.3 billion euros).
Less than during the pandemic
That is even a lower volume than the 14.1 billion pounds of 2020, the pandemic year. UK exports to Spain are a long way from the record £19.5 billion reached in 2019, before Covid and Brexit.
Imports from UK
Something similar is happening with regard to imports from the United Kingdom of goods and services from Spain. In 2021, shipments from Spain to the United Kingdom amounted to £22.4 billion (€26.2 billion). Trade from Spain to the United Kingdom in 2021 was comparable to that of 2020 (22.2 billion pounds). In other words, Brexit has prevented trade from recovering from the pandemic.
The 2021 data is a long way from the £31.6 billion foreign trade record Spain had with the UK in 2019. Between what has been lost in imports and exports on both sides since 2019, total trade between the UK and Spain is now €18 billion less than in 2019, data from the UK’s National Statistics Office shows.
Spain is UK’s sixth trading partner
Spain is among the six European countries with the most commercial exchanges with the United Kingdom, after the Netherlands, Germany, France, Ireland and Italy.