Ursula von der Leyen left without seat at signing event
And pro-Brexit think tank Facts4EU has said the revelation underlines the bloc’s “hostile attitude” towards the UK - and has urged Boris Johnson to tear up the trade deal which he signed in December and walk away on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms. Facts4EU analysed data from the Eurostat, the EU’s statistics division, which indicated in the first four months of the year, in the wake of the end of the transition period, EU imports from the United Kingdom dropped by 27.1 percent compared with the same period last year.
Specifically, the EU sold goods valued at £75.8bn (€87.9bn) - but bought goods worth just £35.9bn (€41.7bn).
Significantly, the amount of goods imported from Russia increased from £32.42 (€37.7) last year to £36.55 (€42.5) this year - an increase of 12.4 percent.
David Evans, who wrote Facts4EU’'s report, said: “Incredibly and for the first time, Vladimir Putin’s Russia - a pariah state supposedly subject to EU sanctions - has overtaken the United Kingdom in sales to the EU27.
Vladimir Putin 's Russia now imports more into Ursula von der Leyen's EU than the UK does
Boris Johnson should ditch the trade agreement signed in December, said Facts4EU
“It is now the third largest supplier to the EU, after China and the USA.
“Russia’s economy is only 55 percent of the size of the UK’s economy.
"And yet so far this year it has sold more goods to the EU27 than has the UK.”
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The trade deal with the EU is benefiting the bloc so far, Facts4EU's graphic indicates
Only Joe Biden's USA and China import more into the EU than Russia does
Protests against the Northern Ireland Protocol in Dublin earlier this year
Mr Evans added: “In light of Covid, we have looked at the comparison between the EU’s purchases from the UK and the EU’s purchases from its other top 10 suppliers. This clearly shows that the UK is being disadvantaged.
“The rote response from those who wish ill on an independent and sovereign United Kingdom to any such news is to say: ‘See, Brexit is a disaster, we told you so’, or words to that effect.
“Never once do they question whether it is the EU’s appalling behaviour towards the UK which is at fault.”
Proposed coronavirus fund grants per EU country
He said: “In two weeks’ time the UK Government must decide whether it will impose the EU’s rules making GB sales of sausages, burgers, and cold meats into Northern Ireland as difficult as possible.
“If – as it should – the UK Government refuses to impose these vindictive and nonsensical EU rules, the EU will almost certainly retaliate against the UK with more legal action to claim penalties, and by taking action to introduce tariffs on UK goods going to the EU.”
The figures contained in Facts4EU’s report showed how the UK - the EU’s closest major partner in trade - was not benefiting from the so-called EU-UK ‘Trade and Cooperation Agreement’ signed by Boris Johnson, Mr Evans insisted.
How imports into the EU changed compared with last year
He added: “Quite the reverse. The EU27 are well on the way to increasing their massive trade surplus with the UK.
“Facts4EU.Org were the originators of the ‘Go-WTO’ campaign in 2017.
“We wrote repeatedly that the EU would never behave reasonably and that the UK was better off going for trade on WTO terms. Our position is unchanged.”