British exports hit record high

Imports and Exports | 14 May 2019

More exports are leaving British businesses than ever, it has been found.


New figures have shown that exports from Britain have hit a record high, despite ongoing uncertainty surrounding the country's exit from the European Union.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said UK firms sold more overseas in 2018-19 than at any time since records began, amounting to £639.9 billion (€735.5 billion).

Total exports rose at a rate of three per cent, marking 36 consecutive months of growth. Analysts said this demonstrated the spirit and resilience of UK exporters in the face of the current global economic outlook.

Meanwhile, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation (OECD) has also published separate data showing UK total exports grew by 13.8 per cent between 2016 and 2018, which was faster than those in Germany, France and Italy.

Commenting on the ONS release, secretary of state for international trade Dr Liam Fox said: "These new numbers published today highlight the quality and innovation of British goods and services and how much they are valued across the globe. My international economic department is confident British businesses will continue to excel as we leave the EU and will offer its full support to businesses with the same ambition."

The OECD recently revealed that foreign direct investment (FDI) into the UK is also at a record high, with inwards investment stock in 2018 growing by five per cent.

This meant Britain was the leading destination for FDI in Europe and the third biggest in the world.

All of these positive economic figures came as the prime minister's chief Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins prepares to travel to Brussels to discuss changes to the political declaration on the UK's relationship with the EU post-Brexit.

The declaration was published along with Theresa May's withdrawal agreement earlier this year and sets out guidelines for how the UK and the EU will interact, but is not legally binding.

It is expected that Mr Robbins will look into how quickly changes could be made to the declaration if talks between the government and the shadow cabinet prove successful.