SNP must not jeopardise Scotland’s £50bn UK market

Scotland’s exports to the rest of the UK totalled almost £50 billion in 2017, reinforcing its position as the country’s most important market.

Official trade figures today revealed 60 per cent of Scotland’s business is done with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

That’s more than three times the value of the EU, with the £48.9 billion exported in these islands in 2017 a 4.6 per cent increase on the previous year.

And despite warnings of Brexit uncertainty, Scotland’s firms were also able to increase deals with other European counties, rising by £1.7 billion.

The USA continues to be Scotland’s single biggest other trading country, worth an estimated £5.5 billion.

Today’s statistics also show the SNP has missed its own economic targets on trade by a significant margin.

The nationalists stated they would increase exports by 50 per cent between 2010 and 2017.

However, current data shows this goal is still around £22 billion short in relation to the 2010 position.

Scottish Conservative trade and investment spokesman Gordon Lindhurst said:

“These figures show yet again that Scotland’s most important market is our own.

“Exports to the UK significantly eclipse every other market, safeguarding thousands of jobs and ensuring money is flowing into Scotland.

“Despite this, the SNP continues to jeopardise this situation by refusing to take the threat of another independence referendum off the table.

“The nationalists’ irresponsible and self-serving obsession would risk the frictionless trade within the UK, putting wealth and livelihoods on the line.

“These figures show Scotland’s businesses deserve a major pat on the back.

“Despite operating under an anti-business SNP government, they’ve continued to work hard and get results.

“This positive set of figures is in spite of the SNP, not because of it.”