The latest trade figures do not look great for anywhere for anywhere in the UK, but we in Swindon should be particularly concerned.
Exports to the EU from the UK are down dramatically (40% from December), and far from made up by the small increase in exports to other parts of the world (1.7% rise). (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/mar/12/exports-to-eu-plunge-in-first-month-since-brexit-uk-economy).
A lot of this is associated with the stock pilling that took place prior our final departure from EU on 31st December, and interestingly there were no similar falls in exports to the EU seen by other countries such as the USA, suggesting this is truly a brexit effect, rather than from coronvirus.
There also continues to be uncertainty, with the government delaying in quite an adhoc fashion the introduction of checks on goods coming unit the UK.
All of this combines to make a currently bad situation worse, and causes further uncertainty for businesses.
Particularly for Swindon, one of the worst-hit industries for exports was the chemical industry, with a 56 percent drop in January, and the automotive industry also experienced a big drop in imports (which are needed to keep the production lines rolling) https://www.ft.com/content/55f116d8-6f3b-400a-825a-94be4d379db0, and https://www.icis.com/explore/resources/news/2021/03/12/10616511/uk-eu-automotive-chemicals-trade-hit-hard-in-january-as-brexit-deal-kicks-in)
All of this hurts Swindon’s competitiveness as a place to do business. In Swindon, we have a proud history in the engineering sector: making complex and often large pieces of technology and exporting that valuable work all around the world.
Brexit is just wrecking this proud heritage and constricting it in a web of forms and bureaucracy.
Swindon for Europe