Thursday, 29 December 2016 06:34

URGENT ACTION ON EXPORTS NEEDED AS BREXIT CHAOS SEES CONTINUED DECLINE

Written by

SNP International Trade spokesperson, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh MP, has called on the UK government to take urgent action to boost exports as the latest ONS figures revealed continued decline following the EU referendum.

The ONS Quarterly National Accounts figures for Quarter 3 (July to September) showed that, despite claims by leading Brexiteers that the collapse in the value of the pound would be good for UK exports, exports were down by 2.6% in Q3.

While the UK government has committed to doubling exports to £1trillion this decade, total export sales are currently half that and appear to be getting worse not better – falling from £517 billion in 2013, to £511 billion in 2014, and down again to £509 billion in 2015.

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh MP, the SNP's International Trade spokesperson, said:

“With 2017 fast upon us the UK government should make it a ‘new year, new start’ for its failing exports strategy – and take urgent action to reverse the continued decline in UK exports that has only been further cemented by the chaos and uncertainty of Brexit.

“The threat of a right-wing hard Brexit has already hit the economy, businesses, families and communities across the country – before the UK has even left the EU.

“The continued uncertainty caused by a UK government with no plan for protecting our vital trading relationship with Europe, and Tory ministers seemingly intent on dragging us out of the world’s largest single market, stands to do further untold damage – with the potential to cost Scotland 80,000 jobs and £11.2billion a year.
“UK exports were already declining under this Tory government before the threat of a hard Brexit - falling from £517 billion in 2013, to £511 billion in 2014, and down again to £509 billion in 2015.

“The UK government must take the earliest opportunity in the New Year to outline what action it will now take to reverse this decline – not least if it is to have the remotest hope of meeting its increasingly distant target of doubling exports to £1trillion by 2020.”

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

ONS Quarter 3 figures: https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/bulletins/quarterlynationalaccounts/quarter3julytosept2016

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