How did Brexit affect UK trade?

Jun Du, Emine Beyza Satoglu, Oleksandr Shepotylo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper assesses the effect of Brexit implemented through the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement on UK trade. Using COMTRADE data for the period of 2019 up to 2022Q1, and the method of synthetic difference-in-differences (SDID), we build a counterfactual UK that did not experience the change in its trade relationships with the EU. We show that the negative, large, and statistically significant impact of the TCA on UK exports has persisted over the examined period. This highlights the continuing export challenges that UK firms have faced since the TCA was put in force and underscores the need to systemically think about the UK’s post-Brexit trade policy. Our further analysis suggests that the UK has experienced a significant contraction in its trading capacity in terms of the varieties of goods being exported to the EU due to the TCA, which signify some serious long-term concerns about the UK’s future exporting and productivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-283
Number of pages18
JournalContemporary Social Science
Issue number2
Early online date23 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http:s//, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properlycited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.


  • Brexit
  • UK
  • trade


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