How has Brexit changed trading between the EU and the UK? - BBC News 2,754 views • Dec 30, 2021 • It’s nearly a year since new controls started coming into effect between the UK and the EU due to Brexit, so how are EU businesses coping?
At the start of 2021 the value of EU goods imports into the UK fell sharply, before recovering slightly – according to the UK's Office for National Statistics.
Figures, up to October, show imports remain below pre-Brexit and pre-pandemic levels. Covid has also impacted trade.
Jessica Parker has visited three companies in the Netherlands – who do business with Britain.
Growing numbers of Polish residents in the UK are applying for British citizenship, allowing them to vote in the upcoming general election. In some marginal constituencies, their votes could make a difference.
In the 2010 general election, Labour held their seat in the constituency of Southampton Itchen by just 192 votes, with the Conservatives second.
When the UK votes again this May, only the slightest swing would see a Tory victory - meaning the area's Polish-born residents, numbering 2,292 in the 2011 census, could be a deciding factor in the outcome.
And while official figures suggest the number of Poles getting British citizenship across the UK remains relatively low - with 6,066 applying in 2013, compared to more than 800,000 residents - anecdotally this is changing.
Many in the Polish community say the numbers have risen sharply. Fuelled by worries about an EU referendum and its potential consequences for them, growing numbers want to vote.
This certainly seems to be the case in Southampton Itchen. Every Polish person I meet says they have applied for British citizenship themselves, or know friends who have put in an application.
Przemyslaw Tryc is well known in the city. Resident for eight years, and a scientific glass-blower at the University of Southampton, he used to present the Voice of Poland programme on the city's community radio station, Unity 101.
He tells me that he is the last of his group of friends to apply for British citizenship. Everyone else he knows has already done so.
The biggest reason for this, he says, is the anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from politicians - not just in UKIP, but the prime minister's focus on immigrants and benefits too.
People are worried about an EU referendum, he tells me. Many Poles fear they will be kicked out of the country if Britain votes to leave the EU. They feel David Cameron wants "to get rid of the Poles".
"Most people think that will happen," he says. "First you close the border, then you deal with the people you have here.
Conservative policy is to restrict benefits for newly arrived migrants - not to repatriate people.
Others I meet give more positive reasons for becoming British. Tomasz Dyl, a young entrepreneur, tells me he plans to apply for a British passport because he feels Britain is his home.
A survey of Poles in the UK last year, conducted by Ipsos Mori and the Polish City Club, found that 40% of Polish migrants would like to gain UK citizenship - with 72% saying they wish to stay "permanently" in the UK.
If more Poles are seeking citizenship and the right to vote this could affect constituencies around the country, and in particular across the capital. According to the 2011 census, the constituencies with the biggest Polish populations are the London seats of Ealing North, with 8.5%, and Ealing Central, with 6.5%.
Elsewhere, 6% of the population in the Slough constituency are Polish, with 5.5% in Luton South.
Not all these seats have the potential to change hands come May, but back in Southampton Itchen the Polish vote could be to the benefit of Labour.