An analysis of the UK’s trade with the rest of the world paints an interesting picture of what’s at stake in the Brexit negotiations.
Official statistics show that the EU is by far the biggest market for UK exports, with goods and services worth a combined £133bn sold to the EU in 2015. This dwarfs the £45bn of exports to the US, the UK’s biggest national export market.
Any post-Brexit trade deal will be negotiated with the EU as a whole rather than individual member states. However the UK is Germany’s third-largest trading partner and accounts for 20 per cent of the EU’s GDP, so all sides have plenty to play for.
The potential of enhanced trade deals beyond the EU was held up as a reason for leaving the European Union, and high-level talks have already been held in India and China as the UK gears up for life outside the EU. There is certainly scope for growth here, particularly with India, which imported £4bn worth of goods and services from the UK last year and sent £6bn of exports in the opposite direction.