Visualizing the UK and EU Trade Relationship

With Brexit solidified and a new trade deal having been struck between the UK and the EU, it appears that a sense of normalcy has returned to the European continent.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the two entities came into effect on January 1st, 2021, corresponding with the UK officially leaving the EU Single Market and Customs Union on the same day. The new deal will help the status quo of trade continue, but how important is trade between the EU and the UK?

This visualization, using data from the British House of Commons’ Statistics on UK-EU Trade Briefing Paper, reveals the significance of trade between the UK and EU member states.

Who Does the UK Trade With in the EU?

The EU is the UK’s biggest global trading partner, representing 47% of the country’s total trade.

To break it down further, the EU is the buyer of 42.6% of the UK’s total exports, while also being the source of 51.8% of their total imports. Here’s a closer look at exports and imports by country.

Country % of UK’s Exports to the EU % of UK Imports from the EU
🇩🇪 Germany 18.9% 20.9%
🇳🇱 Netherlands 14.2% 13.8%
🇫🇷 France 13.7% 12.1%
🇮🇪 Ireland 13.6% 8.0%
🇮🇹 Italy 6.9% 6.8%
🇪🇸 Spain 6.8% 8.6%
🇧🇪 Belgium 6.1% 7.7%
🇸🇪 Sweden 3.4% 3.3%
🇵🇱 Poland 2.6% 3.9%
🇩🇰 Denmark 2.2% 2.2%
🇱🇺 Luxembourg 1.8% 1.0%
🇦🇹 Austria 1.1% 1.4%
🇨🇿 Czech Repbulic 1.1% 1.8%
🇫🇮 Finland 1.1% 0.8%
🇵🇹 Portugal 1.1% 1.5%
🇬🇷 Greece 0.9% 1.0%
🇷🇴 Romania 0.9% 1.1%
🇭🇺 Hungary 0.7% 1.3%
🇲🇹 Malta 0.7% 0.2%
🇨🇾 Cyprus 0.6% 0.3%
🇸🇰 Slovakia 0.5% 0.9%
🇧🇬 Bulgaria 0.3% 0.4%
🇱🇹 Lithuania 0.3% 0.4%
🇱🇻 Latvia 0.2% 0.3%
🇸🇮 Slovenia 0.2% 0.1%
🇭🇷 Croatia 0.1% 0.2%
🇪🇪 Estonia 0.1% 0.1%
🇪🇺 Total EU 28 100% 100%

The UK’s biggest trading partners within the EU are Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, and France. Germany comes in at number one, making up nearly 21% of the UK’s imports and receiving almost 19% of the country’s exports.

Here’s a breakdown of the trade balances between the UK and the individual EU member states.

How News Media is Describing the Incident at the U.S. Capitol

What’s in the Bag?

In any trade relationship, it’s also worth examining what types of products and services are switching hands.

Top Imports

The UK’s top three goods imports from the EU (in terms of percentage of total imports) are:

  • Motor vehicles (18%)
  • Pharmaceuticals (7%)
  • Electric machinery and appliances (4%)

Without the new agreement, goods would face tariffs based on the World Trade Organization’s standards. For example, motor vehicles, would have an average tariff of 10% imposed on them, without the provisions of the agreement.

The UK’s top three service imports from the EU are:

  • Travel (33%)
  • Business services (27%)
  • Transportation (18%)

Looking at services, the main import from the EU is travel, followed closely by business services and transportation. Travel makes the top three, as many countries in the EU make attractive vacation spots for UK citizens.

Top Exports

The UK’s top three goods exports to the EU (in terms of percentage of total exports to the EU) are:

  • Petroleum and petroleum products (12%)
  • Motor vehicles (10%)
  • Transport equipment (6%)

In terms of exports, petroleum is the UK’s largest export to the EU, representing 68% of the country’s total petroleum exports.

The UK’s top three service exports to the EU are:

  • Business services (33%)
  • Financial services (21%)
  • Travel (14%)

The main service export is business services, such as accounting, legal, advertising, R&D, engineering, and so on. Travel to the UK is a significant revenue generator as London is one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

EU vs. Global Trade

The UK’s relationship with other countries has remained steady. China is one of the country’s most important export destinations, growing 7% per year from 2010-2019.

At the same time, the UK’s exports to the United States have grown just over 4% per year over the same period, continuing to increase at a similar rate up to 2030.

uk trade with eu

While the UK currently has a £79 billion ($108 billion) trade deficit with the EU, they have a surplus of £49 billion ($67 billion) with non-EU countries. Additionally, the share of the UK’s exports going to the EU has been consistently falling over the last number of years. Foreign direct investment flows between the two entities have also been drastically reduced.

However, the UK and EU trade relationship is still highly intertwined and significant. Not only are the two connected through intangible flows but physically as well via pipelines, transport highways, and cables. In a typical year, 210 million passengers and 230 million tonnes of cargo are transported between the two entities.

The TCA will help to regulate these flows and continue a sense of status quo, however, it’s worth noting that if EU regulations are not met, tariffs could be imposed.

The Economist Intelligence Unit recently determined risk and resilience factors for different UK industries based on the agreement. The report found that the food & agriculture, automotive, and financial services industries are most at risk, due to interconnected supply chains and the risk of tariffs being imposed. The life sciences and tech industries stand to do the best.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement

Overall, Brexit has had significant ramifications for all nations involved. Ireland, for example, is now geographically cut off from the EU, creating potential obstacles for both the movement of people and goods.

Now, after years of discussions, the UK and the EU have finally agreed to the terms for their new relationship, with a focus on sustainable trade, citizens’ security, and governance for long-standing cooperation, in order to guarantee a level playing field. The TCA has helped ease the transition, and while they’re no longer in a union, the UK and the EU have created a strong base for trade to continue normally.

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How News Media is Describing the Incident at the U.S. Capitol

How Media Outlets Describe the Incident at the U.S. Capitol

Was it a riot? An insurrection? Or was it simply a protest?

The January 6, 2021 incident at the U.S. Capitol was widely covered in news media—however, the type of language used to describe it varied greatly from publication to publication.

Popular news media has a major impact on how society at large perceives major events. To learn more about the language used in recent coverage, we analyzed over 180 articles from Alexa’s top-ranked news websites in the United States. Here’s what we found.

Most Common Descriptions: The Event

From riot to rampage, descriptions used by news media of the incident at the U.S. Capitol were all over the map:

↓ Event descriptor Yahoo CNN NYT Fox WaPo Breitbart Epoch Times BBC BI
Riot 6 9 9 10 9 9 3 10 7
Storm 9 7 6 6 5 7 10 10 8
Breach 4 6 3 3 2 2 13 3 1
Siege 6 1 7 7 1 5 4
Attack 3 1 6 1 3 4 3 3
Insurrection 3 3 1 1 1 7
Assault 5 1 1 1 1 1
Rampage 1 1 3 1 1 1
Invasion 1 3 1
Unrest 1 2 1 1

The most commonly used description was riot, followed by storm. On the other end of the spectrum were the less-frequent terms such as insurrectionassaultrampage, and invasion.

Interestingly, Yahoo News, Business Insider, and BBC used siegeattack, and insurrection more often as compared to Breitbart, Epoch Times, and Fox News. The Epoch Times also described the event as a breach more times than any other outlet.

Most Common Descriptions: The Participants

The participants in the incident were identified in various ways, reflecting the variation seen in describing the incident.

↓ Participants Yahoo CNN NYT Fox WaPo Breitbart Epoch Times BBC BI
Mob 12 8 12 6 8 8 11
Rioters 6 9 9 7 6 3 4 5 4
Protesters 1 2 8 7 13 5 1
Trump supporters 3 3 2 2 3 5 1
Pro-Trump mob 2 1 1 1 7
Pro-Trump rioters 3 2 5
Insurrectionists 2 1 1 3
Demonstrators 1 3 1 1
Participants 2
Extremists 3

In alignment with the usage of riot, the most common descriptions for participants were mob and rioters, followed by protesters. The frequency of use of Trump supporters comes as no surprise, especially since many of the participants are known to have attended the ‘Stop the Steal’ Trump rally preceding the event.

While most outlets referred to the crowd as protesters in the events leading up to the storming of the Capitol building, not all used that term to describe the people who entered the Capitol building. Fox News, Breitbart, and Epoch Times used protesters more often than any other news media outlet. In fact, these three outlets account for 28 of the 37 news articles in which the term protesters appeared.

On the other hand, the term pro-Trump rioters—which was used by Yahoo News, Business Insider, and CNN—did not appear in any articles by Fox News, Breitbart, or Epoch Times.

Tonal Differences

While some media outlets stuck to relatively neutral descriptors, others used unconventional terms to describe both the incident as well as those involved.

The New York Times and the Washington Post, for example, generally adhered to neutral language. They frequently described the event as a siege and a riot, and those involved as the mob and rioters.

U.S. Capitol Incident

The Epoch Times and Breitbart employed terms like protesters and alleged Trump supporters in discussing the individuals involved.

U.S. Capitol Incident

On the other hand, Yahoo News called it an insurrection carried out by militant supporters of President Trump, and Business Insider talked of a pro-Trump assault on the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Capitol Incident

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) potentially reflects how the event was perceived outside of the United States. Terms like riot and stormed appeared most commonly in BBC coverage of the incident. The participants were evenly identified as riotersTrump supportersprotesters, and more often as the mob.

capitol incident bbc

The Impact of Media Coverage

The influence of news media on how the public perceives events is undeniable. In fact, 88% of surveyed Americans consider the news an essential tool to keep informed about public affairs.

From a riot caused by rioters to an insurrection by President Trump’s militant supporters, the way different media outlets analyze the U.S. Capitol incident impacts what their respective audiences take away from it.

Note: Publications that focus primarily on sports, entertainment, and business were omitted from this analysis. We analyzed 20 articles from each publication that related directly to the Capitol situation and resulting coverage.


Source: How News Media is Describing the Incident at the U.S. Capitol