Brexit: Tom Tugendhat put on the spot over Boris Johnson claims

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On Friday, the EU Commission released a new report on the bloc’s trade statistics, which revealed that in the first five months of this year, Britain’s exports to the EU soared by 58.8 percent, compared to the previous Jan-May period last year. The Eurostat figures revealed that in May alone, the EU recorded a €35billion (£29.8billion) trade deficit, while the UK’s exports to the bloc were up by 69.9 percent.

New research by Facts4EU.Org and CIBUK.Org reveals that although the UK continues to remain the EU’s second biggest export market, the trade balance between the two seems to be rapidly shifting.

The authors of the research noted that “despite the EU Commission’s valiant attempts to make it as difficult as possible for British businesses to export to the EU, many of these companies are managing to get their products through.”

The research also revealed that over the past two years, the EU has rapidly descended from having an international trade surplus to a significant deficit.

Speaking exclusively to, Professor Daniel Hodson, CIBUK’s Deputy Chairman, said: “For years we’ve been told the United Kingdom couldn’t survive on its own without being a member of the European Union.

“This was always patently false on every level. The idea that the world’s fifth largest economy could not hold its own as an independent country was an absurdity.

“Nevertheless, this mantra was repeated – and still is – over and over again.

“Our report puts some facts behind the assertion by Brexiteers that: “We’ll do just fine without EU membership, thank you”.

“Not only that, but it clearly shows the EU has some serious problems. Its once invincible trade surplus has disappeared down a big hole and has become a large and growing deficit.

“The EU’s trade deficit in the first five months of this year was €163billion (around £139billion) in the red, compared with a surplus in the same period last year of €69billion (about £59billion) in the black.

“That’s quite a turnaround – but not in a good way.

The EU Commission report also lays bare the bloc’s crippling addiction to Russian energy exports.

The figures reveal that over the past five months, EU exports to Russia have plummeted by 28.6 percent, likely due to the Western sanctions placed on Moscow.

However, these sanctions may have little to no effect, particularly as the figures find that imports from Russia have risen by 85.8 percent during the same period.

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While the report doesn’t specify where the deficit with Russia comes from, it does however add that during that period, energy imports to the bloc grew by a staggering 147.9 percent.

Professor Hodson continued: “No-one is saying the United Kingdom doesn’t have its own challenges, but let’s just say it’s encouraging to see exports to the EU soaring.

“A 70 percent rise in May 2022 compared with last May is highly respectable. We wonder if anyone has told the BBC?“

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