Brussels latest salvo in a war of slides with the U.K. could backfire.
The European Commission on Wednesday published new slides to hit back at the U.K. governments insistence that it should be offered the same deal as Canada, an included chart that appears to be misleading.
In the presentation, titled “U.K. is different from other trade partners,” the Commission made the point that Britains trade with the EU is larger than that of Canada, Japan, Switzerland or Korea.
The new chart featured bubbles that it said represented each countrys “trade volume with the EU.” But the U.K. bubble appeared much bigger than the trade volumes would allow for.
POLITICO asked the Commission for the underlying figures, which underscored the problem.
#Brexit battles: EU hits back at U.K., saying Britain cannot be treated like Canada because it's much closer (33 km vs. 5000 km) and exports to EU are "considerably" bigger (€197 billion vs. €125 billion for Canada, Japan and South Korea together). https://t.co/TIZXoJEcT7 pic.twitter.com/oTugf9rBb1
— Hans von der Burchard (@vonderburchard) February 19, 2020
Take Japan: Its trade volume with the EU stood at some €117.1 billion in 2018, compared with the U.K.s €516.6 billion. That means the bubble representing the U.K. should be about 4.4 times larger than the bubble representing Japan. On the EUs chart, the U.K. bubble is more than 16 times larger than Japans.