Umunna – ONS statistics underline the importance to UK exporters of having frictionless trade with the EU

Trade statistics from February 2018, published today by the ONS, showed that in the 3 months to February there had been both an increase in imports and exports to and from the 27 others countries of the European Union, whilst imports and exports to and from non-EU countries had decreased.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, leading supporter of the Open Britain campaign, said:

“These figures again underline the importance to UK exporters of having frictionless trade with the EU, with whom we do nearly half our trade in goods and services.

“We were told that the upside of crashing the pound would be that we would see a major boost in British exports to non-EU countries. But there is little evidence that this is happening – in fact, goods exports to the rest of the world are decreasing, and manufacturing output is down.

“The Government needs to abandon its reckless pursuit of a hard Brexit. The reality is that any new free trade agreements with third countries will take years to negotiate and will never compensate for the loss of trade we will suffer from severing ties with our largest trading partner.”

/ends

 

Notes to editors

The latest trade statistics from February 2018 by the ONS, published this morning, can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/releases/uktradefeb2018