British food and drink exports rocket as UK sets out vision for independent trade

The thriving British food and drink sector has been boosted by rising demand from non-EU markets, including the USA and Japan, it has been revealed.
The figures, published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), show that the UK exported almost £24 billion in food and drink products in 2019.
This represents a 4.9 per cent increase on 2018 and an 18 per cent increase since 2016.
According to the statistics, growth was largely driven by demand from non-EU countries. For example, the US market was worth £2.4 billion to British businesses in 2019, an increase of eight per cent. Demand from Japan, meanwhile, increased by 14.1 per cent to £311.5 million.
The figures come after International Trade Secretary Liz Truss called for a “new crack-down on unfair trade practices and protectionism” at the World Trade Organization (WTO), ahead of the UK leaving the EU single market in December.
Speaking to delegates at the organisation’s General Council meeting of 164 Ambassadors from around the world, Ms Truss said: “We will make the case to update the WTO rulebook to tackle underlying trade tensions such as industrial subsidies, state-owned enterprises and forced technology transfer.”
Although the UK continues to observe EU single market rules until the end of December 2020, it is now officially an independent member of the WTO.
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