According to ONS, London-Brussels divorce brought about an unprecedented realignment of British trade, where for the first time imports from other parts of the world exceeded those from EU member countries´.
In total, UK trade (including imports and exports) with EU downgraded by 23.1% during January-to-March period of this year, while in other nations it reduced just 0.8%, blaming this negative impact on the Covid-19 pandemic.
UK left common market and the European customs union definitively on December 31, and since then, UK-EU trade relations are governed by a comprehensive agreement signed a week before the end of the so-called post-Brexit transition period.
The ONS also said Brexit displaced Covid-19 as major pitfall mentioned by companies when it comes to trading with the EU.
As part of divorce agreement, goods transferred to/from Europe are subjected to health checks and customs controls, causing large blockages at ports on both sides of the English Channel.
In the case of Ireland, protocol signed to avoid a physical border with the British province of Northern Ireland, which establishes rigorous controls for food and live animals originating from Great Britain, meant bilateral trade reduced by 65.9%.