World Economy

Export to EU Merely 12% of British Economy

Export to EU Merely 12% of British EconomyExport to EU Merely 12% of British Economy

Exports to the European Union now account for just 12% of Britain’s economy and companies are looking elsewhere for trade.

The Office for National Statistics’ Pink Book–which details the economy’s reliance on imports and exports–shows UK focus on Europe has dropped steadily for the past five years, Yahoo reported.

British businesses now earn £222.4 billion ($294.14 billion) by selling goods and services to EU countries–equivalent to 12.1% of total economic output.

But the amount sold to nations outside the bloc is higher–at £287.9 billion, or 15.7% of the economy.

The ONS also said that British exports grew at a world-beating pace in 2015 for the first time since 2006.

It added: “Within this the UK has seen increased trade activity in goods with non-EU countries, with their share exceeding that of EU countries in the last four years.”

Campaigners argued that the figures showed the UK should look beyond the EU as it sought opportunities for growth.

They said the country was not reliant on the bloc and could afford to be bold in the Brexit negotiations ahead. John Longworth, former head of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Exports to the EU represent an ever-smaller element of our economy but the benefits of Brexit are applicable to the whole of the economy. Brexit will allow Britain to become a great trading nation once again. We need to grasp this opportunity.”

Goods exports to the EU now stand at £134 billion, but we sell £151 billion to the rest of the world.

Britain has sold more goods outside the EU than within it for the last four years. This started in 2012 as the eurozone plunged into crisis and has never recovered.

“And in the services market–an area where Britain is particularly strong–we sell £88.9 billion to Europe, but £136.6 billion elsewhere”, he said.