Exports of food and drink to the European Union nearly halved in the first three months of year, according to data from the Food and Drink Federation.
The 47 per cent drop from £3.1 billion to £1.7 billion meant that exports to non-EU countries exceeded those to the EU for the first time.
Sales of food and drink outside the EU were largely unchanged at £2 billion, up only 0.3 per cent. They represent 55 per cent of exports, up from less than 40 per cent a year earlier.
As a result of the fall in trade with the EU, which was Britain’s biggest market for food and drink, total first-quarter exports of food and drink dropped from £5.1 billion last year to £3.7 billion.