News & Analysis

UK Trade vs The World

January 10, 2018

UK Trade vs The World

By Klavs Valters
With the UK leaving the European Union next year, its trading arrangements with the bloc will change. How they will change will be determined over the coming months when both parties start the second phase of the negotiations. This will shine a light on what the agreement will look like and how it will impact the world’s fifth largest economy post Brexit.
Since the Brexit referendum in June 2016, the UK has indicated that it wants to strengthen its ties with India, China, Australia and New Zealand. But how does UK trade look against the rest of the world?

Positive Trade

The UK has a trade surplus with 67 territories around the world, including its closest neighbour Ireland, as well as Switzerland, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.
The UK’s biggest trading partner by far is the United States to whom they exported nearly £100 billion worth of goods and services in 2016. The United States imported just over £66 billion worth of goods and services in 2016 making a trade surplus of just over £33 billion.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Negative Trade

The UK has a trade deficit with the biggest economies of the European Union; including Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.
UK’s biggest trade deficit is with Germany – Europe’s largest economy. In 2016, the UK imported £75 billion worth of goods and services from Germany, while exporting just over £49 billion – a trade deficit of around £25 billion. However, being a member of the European trading bloc allows the UK to trade with no restrictions with the 27 other members. The EU accounted for 48% of goods and services exports from the UK in 2016. While goods and services imports from the EU were worth more than the total from the rest of the world.

Source: Google Maps / Office for National Statistics

Source: Office for National Statistics

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