In only one year, Scottish manufacturing exports, including food and drink, to the EU countries, have risen to more than 50% of the total, further strengthening the case for continuing membership, to trade freely. International exports, excluding oil and gas, have risen by £1.9 billion to £32.4 billion with rUK and the USA the biggest customers.
The Scottish Tories have strangely argued that because 60% or £30 billion, of Scotland’s total exports go to the rUK, we need to remain in the UK. This is a remarkable notion that we have to stay in the UK to sell to other parts of it. Canada’s major customer is the USA but manages to maintain its independence despite that.
According to the BBC’s Douglas Fraser, in 2014, rUK’s ‘exports’ to Scotland amounted to more than £60 billion.
The Scottish Tories have yet to explain why rUk would not continue to accept Scottish exports tariff-free when they expect to sell twice as much back, tariff-free? Ask the manufacturers if they want a wall.
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However, the key risk to Scotland’s economy continues to be the uncertainty associated with Brexit, and in particular the risk of a no-deal Brexit.
Scotland exported £48.9 billion in goods and services to the rest of the UK – a rise of £2.2 billion, with 60% of all Scottish exports going to England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the figures for 2017 reveal. Scotland’s exports to the EU are worth £14.9 billion.
However, the highest rate of growth in 2017 was in exports to EU countries, up 13.3% to £14.9 billion – 46% of international exports in 2017 were to the EU. Exports to the rest of the UK also increased, up £2.2 billion (4.6%) to £48.9 billion.
Meanwhile, the updated GDP statistics, also published this morning, show that Scotland’s GDP grew by 0.2% in the third quarter of 2018, and has increased in every quarter since the start of 2017.
Other key findings in the ESS publication show:
- Total international and rest of the UK exports in 2017 (excluding oil and gas) are estimated at £81.4 billion, up £4.1 billion (5.2%) from the previous year.
- The manufacture of food and beverages continues to be the largest industry for Scotland’s international exports.
- International exports from the manufacturing sector increased by 10.3%, driven by strong growth in exports of refined petroleum and chemical products (up £915 million, 35.6%) and exports of computer, electronic and optical products (up £550 million, 41.1%).
- Scottish exports to non-EU countries saw growth of 0.8% in 2017, increasing to £17.6billion.