According to new figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Brexit has caused a major decrease in Dutch food exports to the UK. Also, in the first eight months of 2021, a lot less vegetables, meat and dairy flowed the other way compared to last year.
Exports of fruit and vegetables to the UK amounted to €2.2 billion from January to August; 8.1 percent less than in the same period last year. Total Dutch exports of these products actually grew by more than 5 percent. Food imports from the UK almost halved compared to the first eight months of 2020, to €281 million.
The figures seem to indicate that the British have become a less attractive trading partner after Brexit. New agreements and rules came into effect on January 1, 2021, including on mutual trade. The free movement of goods ceased to exist: from now on, food exporters wishing to transport tomatoes, pears or cheese across the North Sea will have to deal with British customs. This leads to longer transport times, extra checks and forms and health certificates.
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