Great Britain and the European Union of 27

EU27-UK Flow

This latest visualization has its genesis in this reddit thread. I wanted to represent the data therein in a way that would be easier to compare than a print-screen of an Excel table. As time went by, I found more detailed and accurate data, and I started looking at a way in which I could represent the relationship between the UK and the EU27 from the angle of the Four Freedoms :

1. Free Movement of Goods and 2. Services – The main focus of my visualization. Talk about Britain’s future relationship with the EU has often revolved around how free the trade will be and how high the risk of barriers will be. While the flow of goods has been much easier to free than that of services, and will be much easier to keep unrestricted in the post-Brexit world, I treated the two as somewhat two sides of the coin called Trade. A challenge of this infographic was to visualize both the absolute values, and the relative values to each other (imports vs exports, goods vs. services, UK-to-EU27 trade vs. global national trade)

3. Free Movement of People – Easily the most controversial of the Freedoms, at least in the United Kingdom, and a somewhat thorny subject in the early stages of negotiations, the size of Immigrant / Emigrant communities can inform on which countries might have strong incentives to protect their diaspora during negotiations.

4. Free Movement of Capital – By far the one I grasp the least, I limited myself to showing which countries are members of the Eurozone, and which ones still use their national currencies.

Made with Python (svgwrite module) and Inkscape. Data from Eurostat

2 thoughts on “Great Britain and the European Union of 27”

  1. To be honest, it took a while for me to understand it. Had scroll to the how to read and back. But now after studying it a bit I see weaknesses at a glance. I think if you could hover over one parameter and have it highlighted with an explanation and the rest disappear or turn grey, it would give people a faster understanding. Maybe with d3.js like visualcinnamon.


    1. Actually, the main idea was to try to mimic the graphics done by Accurat for “La Lettura”. They are data-heavy, and they prioritize aesthetics over instant legibility, as they see the slow act of ‘discovering’ the wealth of data encoded into the graph as something positive. I knew that maybe the ‘butterfly plot’ might not be instantly legible.

      Nonetheless, I updated the graph, hoping it aids with legibility.

      I have zero experience with d3.js and javascript in general. AFAIK, I cannot embed dynamic datavizualizations into wordpress blogs unless I pay to upgrade the account.


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