McGrory – New stats show importance of Single Market to nations and regions of Britain

The EU is the biggest destination for services exports from seven of the 11 regions and nations of Great Britain, new figures from the Office for National Statistics show today. This highlights the importance of trade with the EU in services, and the dangers of falling out of the Single Market and onto the WTO or a free trade deal which only covers goods trade.

The new ONS publication, ‘Service exports by destination and industry, NUTS1 areas, Great Britain’, for the first time breaks down services exports by the regions and nations of Great Britain (Northern Ireland is not included). In all, the EU is the most important export market for services for the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, the East Midlands, the West Midlands, London, the South East, and Scotland.

Proportionally, exports to the EU are most important to services firms in the North East, where 49.1% of services exports go to the EU. By value, it is most important to London, which exported £15.6bn of services to the EU. All figures are from 2015. 

Nationally, the EU was the most important export market in services for firms in Great Britain. We exported £36.9bn of services to the EU, accounting for 36.7% of total UK services exports. 

Commenting, James McGrory, Executive Director of Open Britain, said:

“From the Isle of Wight to the Shetlands, the regions and nations of Britain benefit hugely from services trade with the European Union. This free trade facilitated by our membership of the Single Market is worth billions to our economy, supporting great numbers of jobs. 

“Leaving the Single Market, as the Government wants to do, will put much of this trade at risk. By harmonising regulations, the Single Market does more to boost services trade than any other model. WTO rules, or even a bog-standard free trade deal, simply will not be good enough.

“To protect businesses and jobs the length and breadth of our country, the Government must negotiate to keep Britain in the Single Market. Anything less will make British people worse off, which would be an unforgiveable outcome.”


Notes to editors:

The ONS figures, released this morning, are here: