England runs massive trade deficit. Only Scotland has a viable sustainable economy, exporting more than she imports thus requiring no national debt


As it says in my headline, only Scotland of the UK regions exports more than she imports. Indeed, England is massively dependent on imports to survive. Here are the data from the UK government site:

1 £ Value of all exports (EU and non-EU) in 2016

England           221 605 000 000

Wales              12 405 000 000

Scotland          25 423 000 000

N Ireland         7 791 000 000


2 £ Value of all imports (EU and non-EU) in 2016

England           341 643 000 000

Wales              12 460 000 000

Scotland          23 275 000 000

N Ireland         11 830 000 000


3 £ Deficit/Surplus in 2016

England           -120 038 000 000

Wales              – 55 000 000

Scotland          +2 148 000 000

N Ireland         – 4 039 000 000


You know what a trade deficit requires? Borrowing. So, we should have no debt. Somebody going to tell me why we should not be independent on this basis? Unionist politicians and media going to report this properly?


Footnote: Wasn’t 2016 a year of negative revenue from the North Sea?


24 thoughts on “England runs massive trade deficit. Only Scotland has a viable sustainable economy, exporting more than she imports thus requiring no national debt

  1. Donald McGregor August 12, 2017 / 2:26 pm

    Lovin it too.
    These are slightly startling figures, compared with the pap we are usually served up.
    Do the figures include inter-regional trade? (Adopting the ‘region’ word to describe the various entities) or is it trade in and out of UK only?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. johnrobertson834 August 12, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    Quote: ‘This quarterly release is a dis-aggregation of the UK Overseas Trade Statistics with further breakdown to nine English Government Regions, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.’

    Personally, I’m puzzled by how low the Scottish figures are. I thought we exported £3 billion in Whisky alone? I think there shoud be three more 000s.I’ll go back and change them

    Liked by 1 person

  3. johnrobertson834 August 12, 2017 / 5:25 pm

    My inability to grasp the sheer mind-blowing scale of debt reminds me of Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan trying to articulate the same: Watch especially his shriek for the US debt.


    • Contrary August 13, 2017 / 9:24 am

      Excellent articulation on the meaning of huge numbers, & meaninglessness of debt?! Brilliant. Nothing better than a comedian’s commenrary to get to the crux of the matter 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • johnrobertson834 August 13, 2017 / 12:41 pm



  4. Rob August 13, 2017 / 8:49 am

    What happens with regard to import and distribution? Tesco for example will buy from a central head office, import to a central distribution hub and ship out to their branches north and south. There is no border tracking, so surely all the Scottish import would be in the English figures wouldn’t it? Just asking… Seems an obvious fail.


  5. Contrary August 13, 2017 / 4:04 pm

    I’ve just written a huge rambling piece on your other, very very very very very similar bloggy article on this subject!

    I’ve only skimmed the national stats office doc linked to above, but all purely internal movement of goods is not included for,,, ah, I might have to check that, I was also reading what defined OTS figures (national exports/imports, which proportionally feed into the RTS). But part of the change in HMRC methodology is to count the region of export as the one that has the most employees in for that company – not the head office – but something like Tescos may be too dispersed (sometimes they take a proportion, but in this case maybe it’s too difficult – a retailer will mostly be importing anyway?).

    My thoughts on the amount of trade that has been missed out is on the alternate article, I think these figures for Scotland are probably showing a lot poorer than they actually are in reality – and still we are stronger than our neighbours. [next up will be a pile of greetin’ wastrels saying how cruel we are for wanting to leave them and leave them in the lurch]. I doubt whisky would be excluded, it is too high profi..le… Hmm, a bit like oil then? There are fudgy bits on how they work out the regions, it isn’t just where the biggest number of employees are, there are fudgy situations. I skim-read! I’ll try reading it again.

    I forgot to mention that trade in gold was also excluded, because it would show London with abnormally high RTS figures.

    I still find it utterly bizarre that they would dare to show even a tiny glint of Scotland in even the smallest positive light. I thought their whole philosophy was based around keeping us down and depressed to stop any sedition? Or is this a ‘throw us a bone’ to keep the masses happy, better together after all? We accept the + number even though it is likely well below the real number?

    What about England carving away a part of the Scottish seas – I thought the area of sea belonging to each country was determined by international law,,, so surely their own version of this carving up is illegal? This likely doesn’t affect the RTS figures here anyway, but just saying like.


    • johnrobertson834 August 13, 2017 / 5:40 pm

      Some of our imports are not perhaps really in the English figures?


    • Phil Butler August 13, 2017 / 10:14 pm

      The UK Government did move the boundary between England and Scotland, just before devolution, transferring a large portion of oil fields to English territory. They were able to do this because it’s not an international boundary (yet).


      • johnrobertson834 August 14, 2017 / 8:11 am

        So a fair proportion of the English exports are now oil?


  6. johnrobertson834 August 13, 2017 / 5:39 pm

    So your answer to Rob is that it probably doesn’t add up to enough to make a big difference?


  7. Contrary August 13, 2017 / 6:17 pm

    Well, in fact, they say that exports are easier to calculate by region than imports are (e.g. Cars), so imports tend to be based on head office,,, but if they are using proportionality, it should be distributed similarly to any exports. To tell the truth, it is too hard to tell without delving into the actual numbers, which I’m not going to do, you don’t pay me enough 😀


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