Post-Brexit imports, supply chains, and the effect on consumer prices

Think tank: UK in a Changing Europe

Author(s): Various Authors

April 27, 2022

This report from UK think tank UK in a Changing Europe looks at the decrease in imports following the UK’s departure of the Single Market.

This report documents the decrease in imports and shows how the patterns of imports vary across sectors following the UK’s departure from the Single Market and Customs Unit at the end of 2020. The authors focus on comparisons between imports from the EU and imports from non-EU countries.

This report shows that changes in imports of goods from the EU have affected UK firms’ supply chains. Part of this change is driven by the adjustment costs incurred as part of the new trading relationship and is likely to be short term, but another part is likely to reflect a long-term increase in the cost of inputs from the EU, which make up a sizable contribution of total imports. This could have a knock-on effect for consumers who will face higher prices, and for workers whose jobs will be affected by adjustments in the supply chain.