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Richard Bell

Exports to EU hit £12.2bn during month of Brexit

Exports from UK firms to European Union countries rose by around £1bn in June despite the uncertainty of the EU referendum, according to new data.

Figures from HMRC’s latest UK Overseas Trade Statistics report showed that EU exports during the month stood at £12.2bn, up by 8.7% in comparison to May.

Imports from the continent, meanwhile, hit £20.5bn – a rise of £1.9bn or 10% against the month previous.

Similarly, non-EU imports rose from £17.5bn in May to reach £19.7bn in June. Non-EU exports grew by 5.6% to £12.7bn during the period.

In total, the EU accounted for almost half (49%) of all of June’s UK exports.

Doron Cohen, the CEO of online money transfer service Covercy, said of the figures: “While it may have [been] expected that exports in particular might slow significantly down to the EU due to a potential ‘Brexit’, this was not the case as exporters in the UK appeared to keep calm and carry on in the best British tradition.

“In fact, exports actually increased by over 8% compared to May.”

He added: “However, we’ve yet to see how Brexit has actually affected UK companies who export to the EU.”

Speaking further, Mr Cohen said he believes the Brexit vote has nevertheless brought “huge uncertainty”, with 96% of all Britain’s exporting SMEs choosing to export into Europe.

He continued: “With the potential of being locked out of the single market, these exporters may face new taxes which make them less competitive than their EU counterparts.

“Meanwhile, SME importers have already suffered a 18% rise in their costs in less than a year due to the fluctuation in sterling’s value.”

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