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Minister fears Brexit impact

EU now accounts for more than half of Scottish exports

Port of Grangemouth

Exports are keeping Scotland’s ports busy


EU countries now buy more than half of Scottish exported goods, according to the HMRC’s Regional Trade Statistics.

The value of Scotland’s annual goods exports increased by 6% to £29.6 billion of which goods to the EU are up 18% to £15.7bn. Oil and gas exported to the EU is 37% higher at £7.8bn.

Speaking from Hamburg, where he is discussing further growth in Scotland’s trade with Europe, Trade Minister Ivan McKee, said total exports are growing at a greater rate than the overall UK figure of 4% and the highest percentage increase of any UK country.

“The figures show just how important trade with the EU is,” said Mr McKee. “They demonstrate in pounds and pence the competitive disadvantage Scotland will suffer compared to Northern Ireland under the UK Government’s current proposals.

“They also show the importance of Scotland staying in the single market and customs union, which is eight times bigger than the UK market alone, because trade with the EU makes up more than half of Scotland’s exports.

“It goes to show Scotland remains open for business, despite uncertainty over Brexit. However, the figures also demonstrate the importance of the EU as it remains the largest single market for Scotland’s international exports – supporting directly or indirectly hundreds of thousands of jobs across Scotland.”

4 Comments to EU now accounts for more than half of Scottish exports

  1. How does this article tie in with the table the Scottish Government produced, stating 60% of exports are to Rest of UK, 18% to EU and 22% to non EU ?
    Scotland’s Exports in 2017

    Export Destination

    Value of Exports in 2017

    Change since 2016

    % Change since 2016


    £32.4 billion

    +£1.9 billion


    …of which EU

    £14.9 billion

    +£1.7 billion


    …of which Non-EU

    £17.6 billion

    +£0.1 billion


    Rest of the UK

    £48.9 billion

    +£2.2 billion


    Total (Int + RUK)

    £81.4 billion

    + £4.1 billion


    Key Findings
    Scotland’s international exports (excluding oil and gas) increased in 2017 by £1.9 billion (6.2 per cent) from £30.6 billion in 2016 to £32.4 billion in 2017.
    The majority of this growth was in exports to EU countries with exports to the EU up £1.7 billion (13.3%) to £14.9 billion in 2017. Scottish exports to non-EU countries saw slower growth in 2017, increasing by £0.1 billion (0.8%) to £17.6 billion.
    Scotland’s exports to the rest of the UK also increased in 2017, up £2.2 billion (4.6%) to £48.9 billion.

    Total international and rest of the UK exports in 2017 (excluding oil and gas) were valued at £81.4 billion, up £4.1 billion (5.2%) from the previous year. Exports to the rest of the UK accounted for 60% of this overall total, EU exports accounted for 18% and non-EU exports 22%.

    The USA continued to be Scotland’s top export destination country with an estimated £5.5 billion of exports from Scotland in 2017. top five international export markets (USA, Netherlands, France, Germany and Ireland) accounted for £14.3 billion (44%) of international exports from Scotland in 2017.

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