Trade with the European Union fell in the first quarter after Britain exited the tariff bloc, according to data released on Tuesday.
The Office for National Statistics reported that UK exports of goods to the European Union decreased by 18% and that imports decreased by 22%. British trade with the rest of the world has changed little. Exports rose 0.4% while imports fell 0.9%.
In the first quarter since data collection began in 1998, imports from non-EU countries exceeded imports from EU countries.
The statistics agency warned it was too early to draw any full conclusions. “With only a quarter of the data available and the pandemic and recession going on, it’s too early to assess how this reflects short-term trade disruptions or longer-term supply chain adjustments,” the ONS said.