Scotland's biggest trading partner continues to be rest of UK

The Scottish Government’s annual trade statistics (‘Export Statistics Scotland’), published today, show that in 2016 Scotland exported more than £45 billion in goods and services to England, Wales and Northern Ireland – while exports to the EU total £12.7 billion

Exports to the rest of the UK make up 61 per cent of Scotland’s total exports, nearly four times the amount of trade with the EU market.

Independent research published by the Fraser of Allander Institute in November last year showed that around 560,000 jobs in Scotland (nearly one in four of all jobs) are supported by demand for Scottish goods and services from the rest of the UK.

These statistics underline how vital it is that we do maintain Scottish businesses’ trade with their closest and most valuable market.

Commenting on the figures, Scottish Secretary David Mundell said:

"These figures from the Scottish Government again show that Scotland’s trade with the rest of the UK is worth nearly four times that with the EU. We know that more than half a million Scottish jobs depend on the vital UK internal market.

"I cautiously welcome today’s labour market statistics. But we know the Scottish economy continues to lag behind the rest of the UK, reinforcing the need to maintain our trade with the rest of the UK.

"As the UK prepares to leave the EU, it is essential that we ensure the UK internal market continues unimpeded.

"The trade figures also show an increase of over half a billion pounds in exports to markets outside the EU. This demonstrates the opportunities that lie ahead for Scottish businesses, as we strike new, ambitious trade deals around the world."