BORIS Johnson's Brexit deal has hammered Britain’s trade with the largest economy in Europe, analysis has found.

A leading economist has found trade between Germany and the UK had plummeted after Brexit.

Professor Dennis Novy, of Warwick University, analysed figures from the German Federal Statistical Office, which showed UK imports to Germany had fallen by 18% between January 2019 and January 2022. Exports from Germany to the UK had fallen by 24% in the same period.

The National: Dr Dennis NovyDr Dennis Novy

Britain officially left the European Union on January 31, 2020.

The SNP have said the figures prove Brexit has been “a disaster for Scotland and the UK” because falling trade would harm business and jobs.

The data shows that British imports to Germany plunged when the country left the EU and have failed to recover to their previous levels.

German exports to the UK increased after Brexit until the first UK lockdown in March 2020 and remain down on their levels in January 2019, the figures show.

This is despite trade increasing with a host of other countries over the same period and German imports being up 18% overall in the period covered.

Germany – which boasts the strongest economy in Europe with a gross domestic product (GDP) worth €3.3 trillion in 2020 – saw its imports from the EU increase by 11% and those from the US increase by 6%.

Novy said he chose 2019 as the starting point for his study because it was the last full year before both Brexit and Covid.

Among Germany’s other major trading partners, exports to Belgium were up 14%, the Netherlands up 11% and Italy 11%. Exports to France fell by 5% and remained stable with Spain with 0% change.

Imports from the Netherlands were up 18%, Italy 14% and Poland 19%. Novy said the data on imports was less reliable because of changes in statistical recording.

The SNP’s shadow international trade spokesperson Drew Hendry said: “At a time when the UK Government are hiking taxes despite energy and food bills soaring, Brexit is only making the crisis worse.

The National: Drew Hendry MSPDrew Hendry MSP

“For as long as our trade continues to plummet, businesses, jobs, and wages will also be affected. The SNP will continue to press the UK Government for immediate action to mitigate the impact of Brexit and the Tory-made cost of living crisis while we remain chained to the Westminster system.”

Hendry added leaving the UK was Scotland’s “only” hope of restoring trade relations with Germany.

He said: “However, there can be no doubt that the only way to keep Scotland safe and regain the benefits of EU membership – whose single market is seven times bigger than the UK – is to become an independent nation.”

A spokesperson for the UK Government said: "As an independent trading nation, we have already secured trade deals with 70 countries plus the EU which will benefit all of the UK.

"2022 is shaping up to be a five-star year for the UK, as we seek new trade deals with India, the Gulf, Canada, Mexico and Israel, as well as accession to the £8.4 trillion Indo-Pacific CPTPP free trade area.

“Together with support from the Export Support Service, expanded export academies and a landmark export strategy, we are ensuring that businesses of all sizes have the support they need to trade effectively with Europe and seize new opportunities as we strike trade deals around the world."