Both the UK and the EU would have something to lose from a ‘hard’ Brexit that will leave no trade agreement with their biggest trade partners or lengthy negotiations that might result in an interim regime with barriers and charges on trade. Trade balance data, though, indicate that – with the EU exporting to the UK more than importing from it – the EU should display some urgency in trying to strike a favourable trade agreement.
In the case of Greece, the data from the UK’s Office for National Statistics show that for the period of 1999-2015, Greece, among the UK’s global trade partners, is 31st in trade volume (with over 87 billion pounds), 31st in imports from the UK (with over 38 billion pounds) and 30th in exports to the UK (with over 48 billion pounds). Again, the positive balance of exports versus imports should imply that Greece would be among the EU member-states to have a clear interest into pushing for a favourable trade deal with the UK in order to maintain the national income generated by exports to Britain. Greek exports to the United Kingdom amount to over 1 billion euros annually.
Greece according to the Greek Business Federation (SEV), exports to Britain 350 million euros worth of industrial products, 200 million euros of chemical products, 450 million of food and other products.
SEV requested that the EU maintains current market and trade practices and agrees to a smooth transition to a friendly trade agreement.
Concerns about the 60,000 Greeks who live and work in Britain were expressed by Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis when he met with the British Ambassador to Athens, Kate Smith, on March 15 to the legal framework in regards to the residence status of Greeks in Britain.