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Scottish exports to rest of UK increase

Scottish exports to the rest of the UK have increased further with 60 percent of all Scottish trade now being with the rest of the UK, according to the latest official statistics.

The Scottish Conservatives have welcomed these figures as further evidence of the vital importance of the UK market to Scotland’s economy.

The figures show that the value of Scotland’s exports to the rest of the UK in 2018 was £51.2 billion, many times greater than the £16.1 billion, or 19 percent, of Scottish trade with the EU.  

Scotland’s international trade to markets outside the EU continued to increase and now represents 21 percent of total trade.

The USA continues to be Scotland’s single largest international export destination, with £5.5 billion of exports in 2018.

The export statistics published today coincide with the release of the GDP Quarterly National Accounts which show that Scotland’s economy continues to lag far behind the UK’s.

Not only did UK GDP grow faster than that of Scotland in the third quarter of 2019, the Scottish economy grew 0.6 percent over the year to September 2019 - less than half the UK rate of 1.3 percent over the same period. 

Dean Lockhart, Scottish Conservative shadow economy secretary said;

“The rest of the UK continues to be by far the most important market for Scotland’s trade, far outstripping the EU.

“It should be obvious to anyone looking at these figures that independence would irreparably damage this trade and Scotland’s economy.

“And yet the SNP's only focus is for Scotland to leave behind the UK market and rejoin the EU single market, regardless of the economic damage this would involve.

“The SNP cannot be trusted on the economy as shown by its appalling track record, as the GDP figures published today show.

“Scottish businesses large and small have been completely abandoned while the SNP focuses only on separation and flags.”



Notes to editors:


Export Statistics Scotland can be found here –

GDP statistics can be found here - Scottish Government, GDP Quarterly National Accounts, Scotland, 29 January 2020, link

Between July and September 2019 Scotland’s GDP grew by 0.3 per cent in real terms, compared to UK GDP which grew by 0.4 per cent in the same period.

Compared to the same quarter last year, Scotland’s GDP has grown by 0.6%, revised down from the first estimate of 0.7%. Equivalent UK growth over the year was 1.3%.

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