UK dependence on Chinese imports a “threat to national security”
China, the report says, has “established itself as the main source of disaster relief equipment in the UK import market”, with the country now responsible for 26% of UK imports of these items. ‘rising to some £ 12.26 billion – up from 7.7% in 2019.
According to the study, in the 12 months to March 2021, 72% of all imports of key chemicals used in disinfectants came from China, along with 71% of plastic-coated medical gloves and 88.3% of “gloves. made from nonwovens. ”.
The document, based on an analysis of published trade data and Freedom of Information Act requests, comes after China overtook Germany to become the UK’s largest import market for the first time since recording started. Goods imported into the country have increased 66% since the start of 2018 in the first quarter of this year, it emerged in May.
John Longworth, Chairman of the Independent Business Network and former Managing Director of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The extent of the UK’s growing commercial dependence on China is appalling. In addition, the government’s comments are hollow. Far from reducing our dependence on trade, the situation is getting worse … The findings of this report show that the government is not capitalizing on the opportunities that Brexit has given us to solve the problem.
“China’s growing presence in British industry is not just a threat to business, it is a threat to national security. Growing monopolies on procurement in areas such as biosafety disaster relief, electronics and aerospace engineering have the potential to seriously damage UK homeland security and the economy at large. “