UK exports increase ahead of Brexit, figures show

The number of VAT-registered businesses which export goods overseas has risen ahead of Brexit, a new report has revealed.

The research, published by the Department for International Trade (DiT), shows that the number of companies exporting goods across the UK has increased to 110,800 – a rise of more than 1,000 compared to the same period last year.

According to the figures published this month, exports of goods from England increased by 2.1 per cent to £248.6 billion, while goods exports in Scotland increased by 5.6 per cent to £30.3 billion.

Wales and Northern Ireland also saw an increase in the number of businesses exporting goods overseas, rising 4.3 per cent and 1.9 per cent to £17.2 billion and £8.9 billion respectively.

The report also reveals an “increased appetite for UK goods from non-EU countries”. UK businesses increased exports to these countries – the top three being the USA, Australia and Switzerland – by 1.3 per cent.

The research also found that in the final three months of 2018, the average value of goods exported in the UK per exporter was £780,000.

Commenting on the figures, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox suggests the continued rise in British exports “highlights the true exporting power” of the UK ahead of Brexit.

“This is fantastic news for British businesses, who should be encouraged by these figures to take advantage of the clear opportunities available for growing their business overseas,” he said.

“People from across the world want to buy British, and through our Export Strategy my department is fully committed to helping businesses make the most of international opportunities.”

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