The discrepancy is highlighted in a new report published by the pro-Brexit think tank Facts4EU. The research, based on figures published by Eurostat, the EU’s statistics division, indicates that in the second quarter of 2021, China officially overtook the United States to take the top slot, with a 2.7 percent increase in the value of goods traded with the bloc compared with the previous period.
The value of EU-China trade – £139.3billion – is also up by a whopping 19.7 percent compared with the second quarter of 2019, Facts4EU’s report showed – despite Beijing not having a free trade agreement with Brussels.
The UK is still the EU’s third-biggest trading partner, with exports plus imports totalling almost £90billion annually.
This is despite the problems UK firms have experienced shipping goods to the EU27 as a result of what the report calls the EU’s “deliberate application of the most bureaucratic procedures”.
China has achieved its meteoric rise despite:
- Not being a member of the EU’s Single Market
- Not having a free trade agreement
- Not signing up to free movement of EU citizens
- Not abiding by the EU’s human rights laws
- Not abiding by international maritime laws
- Not reducing its massive carbon emissions
- Not being subjected to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice
Leigh Evans, Facts4EU’s chairman and the report’s author, said: “As a result of the EU’s actions, UK sales of goods to the EU have fallen.
“Whilst the traffic from the EU to the UK has also fallen, it has done so by far less.
“The rapid increase in the EU’s imports from China in recent years has barely been remarked on.”
Brexit LIVE: Frost in blunt ultimatum to tear up hated EU deal [LIVE BLOG]
Tax rising Tories fall behind stagnant Labour in fresh opinion poll [POLL]
Brexit fishing ‘state of emergency’ in Channel over EU supertrawlers [INSIGHT]
Referring to what he called “the EU’s double standards”, he added: “If the EU were to apply the same legalistic and antagonistic approach to the Chinese as it has applied to Brexit Britain, it seems unlikely that China would be able to sell anything to the EU at all.
“Imagine if the UK were to deviate from the strictures of the European Court of Human Rights, for example.
“It is certain that all hell would break loose in Brussels.
“Yet China’s record on human rights, and its disregard of international law and international treaties is becoming legendary.”
Mr Evans also pointed out the imbalance in the EU’s trading relationship with Beijing.
He explained: “China may now be the EU’s top trading partner, but this is simply the aggregation of exports and imports.
“Looking at the EU’s exports alone, the UK retains its No.4 slot.
“When it comes to the trade balance, the United Kingdom provides the EU with its second-largest trade surplus in the World.
“Not that anyone would know it, from the way the EU has treated the United Kingdom since the majority of British people voted to leave its sclerotic organisation in 2016.”