BBC writes today that trade between the UK and EU partially recovered in February, after a steep drop in January following Brexit.

Official figures show exports to the EU jumped by 46.6% following January’s 42% slump when firms struggled with new trade rules.

However, the Office for National Statistics said exports were still below last year’s levels and imports from the EU had seen a weaker recovery.

Other figures from the ONS showed the UK economy grew by 0.4% in February.

The UK’s statistics body said the economy was still 7.8% smaller than a year earlier, before the impact of the pandemic.

Covid restrictions remained in place to varying degrees across all four nations of the UK during January and February.

“The economy showed some improvement in February after the large falls seen at the start of the year but remains around 8% below its pre-pandemic level,” an ONS spokesperson said.

“Exports to the EU recovered significantly from their January fall, though still remain below 2020 levels. However, imports from the EU are yet to significantly rebound, with a number of issues hampering trade.”

UK imports from the EU rose by 7.3% in February, after dropping 29.7% the month before.

The ONS said it was too early to make any conclusions about the impact of the new trading arrangements with Europe .

You can read the article here: UK exports to EU rebound partially after January’s slump

Source: BBC

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum’s standing committee on trade, industry, finance and investment has called for the harmonisation of cross-border trade systems to reduce “trade costs and time spent at borders”.

Consensus has been reached that a harmonisation of cross-border trade systems would achieve regional economic integration and help reduce the costs and time spent at borders.

You can read the article here: SADC pushes for a one-stop cross border post to reduce congestion

Source: CityPress

FT writes that the UK and the EU are making progress in talks on how to apply post-Brexit trade rules in Northern Ireland, raising hopes of an agreement that could help reduce tensions that have spilled over into violence on the streets of Belfast.

Officials on both sides said that recent days of intensive contacts had given cause for optimism that the UK and EU can craft a “work plan” on how to implement the Northern Ireland protocol, which sets the post-Brexit terms for goods to flow between the region and Great Britain. EU Brexit commissioner Maros Sefcovic and his UK counterpart David Frost may meet to review progress this week.

Other EU diplomats and officials said strong UK engagement in the technical talks on implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol had raised hopes that an understanding could be reached. 

“The mood seems to have warmed up a bit — the tone of the discussions is quite good,” said one British official. 

The talks are a follow up to a draft plan about implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol that was submitted by the UK to Brussels at the end of last month — a step the EU said was essential to rebuilding trust after Britain unilaterally extended waivers for traders from some aspects of the rules in March.

You can read the article here: EU and UK edge towards accord on trade rules for Northern Ireland

Source: FT