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Scottish Exports Rely Heavily on UK Internal Market

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Total sales to England, Wales and Northern Ireland reached an estimated £48.6 billion and accounted for the majority (61 per cent) of the value of Scotland’s exports in 2021.

Scotland’s sales to the rest of the UK are worth more than three times exports to the EU, the latest annual export statistics from the Scottish Government show, demonstrating the strength and critical importance of the UK Internal Market.

There was also a 6.2 per cent increase in the estimated value of Scotland’s international exports during 2021,to £31.3 billion, although these remained lower than before the pandemic. Scotland Office Ministers have banged the drum tirelessly to promote Scotland and Scottish business overseas through the extensive network of embassies and high commissions, with trade missions this year including to the USA and Vietnam.

Scotland’s exports to the EU are valued at an estimated £15 billion, accounting for 48 per cent of Scotland’s international exports, an increase of 0.5 per cent from 2020 and 11.7 per cent lower than in 2019.

Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack, said:

“The Scottish Government’s export figures show again that the rest of the UK remains by far Scotland’s most important market. England, Wales and Northern Ireland combined buy more than 60 per cent of our exports. This is an important reminder of the importance of the UK’s internal market and the need for us to ensure that it continues to operate freely and effectively.

“We have also seen international sales increase to more than £31 billion. With our first trade deals post-Brexit coming into effect earlier this year Scottish businesses will be able to seize those new opportunities.”

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