New data from the Office for National Statistics has highlighted increased demand for British goods outside of the EU in the run-up to October 31st, predominantly with the US and China.
Trade with non-EU countries is currently growing twice as fast as with EU member states, with data showing a 4.2% increase in exports to non-EU countries compared to 1.6% on the continent.
Exports of goods and services to the US have increased by 9.3% in the year to June 2019 to £126.4 billion. Meanwhile, demand for UK goods in China have also seen significant gains of 13.9% rising to £23.7 billion. Japanese exports were also bolstered by 9.2% to £14.3 billion.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss commented on the figures that: “Leaving the EU provides the UK with great opportunities to form closer relations with countries outside the EU bloc.
“Following my recent trips to the US and Japan, it is clear to see the potential that trading with our close friends across the world brings to the UK economy.
“Businesses are already making the most of opportunities such as the Rugby World Cup to take their products to market abroad. And there is so much more to gain. When we leave the EU, we will open more of these markets up to help UK businesses seize the opportunities in front of them.”
Brexit of course still dominates business discussions and remains the primary cause for concern across sectors. However, as we’ve reported before, uncertainty regarding the nature of the UK’s departure from the European Union hasn’t directly correlated with reduced exports.
In fact, in the 12 months to May 2019, combined exporting of goods and services from the UK reached a new record high by increasing 4% to £647.1 billion.
However, those figures don’t account for lost opportunities for even further growth, and there’s much data to support the fact that Brexit is putting the breaks on business ambition, in particular within the recruitment of new permanent staff and also investment.