Kemi Badenoch hails £868bn UK exports bonanza in Brexit trade victory | Politics | News

December 13, 2023
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Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch has said the Government’s “export success stories” are allowing Brexit Britain’s trade to boom.

Official figures have revealed an eight per cent hike in overseas trading with sales hitting £868 billion in a year.

Ms Badenoch said the £62 billion total year-on-year increase in current prices has proved the Brexit naysayers are wrong.

Writing for the Daily Express, she said: “Let’s ditch the doom and gloom – British businesses are thriving and that’s something to celebrate.”

Ms Badenoch added: “Today’s figures show that the Government’s work signing new trade deals, knocking down trade barriers and promoting British businesses across the globe is working, with our services industries in particular reaching record export levels never seen before.

“From insurance to advertising, travel services to telecoms, these export success stories are helping to grow the economy, create jobs and boost prosperity up and down Britain.”

UK services exports are at record levels and up more than six per cent, adjusted for inflation, in the year to October 2022, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The records released by the ONS show the yearly increase at £62 billion though once it is adjusted for inflation and excluding precious metals if falls to £14 billion.

Tory MPs said the figures are the latest boost to Brexit Britain despite dire warnings from critics about the impact of exiting the EU.

Former international trade secretary Dr Liam Fox said: “Great news for British businesses and jobs, terrible news for those who predicted our trade would collapse after Brexit.”

Ex-business secretary Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg added: “Brexit encourages us to look beyond the narrow European sphere and this growth in exports will get a further boost from our new free trade deals.”

Conservative MP Marco Longhi, who is the trade envoy to Brazil, said: “Increasing our exports means more jobs and more secure jobs.

“An increase of £62 billion is huge and it underlines the importance of Brexit which is now delivering for the country.

“In Brazil alone, where I am trade envoy, we have increased export by about a third – this would not have been possible if still shackled to the EU.

“Global Britain is working, and our export data proves it resoundingly.”

It comes as Britain has signed trade agreements with more than 70 countries since leaving the EU.

Earlier this year, the UK joined the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in the biggest post-Brexit deal to date.

Britain became the first new member of the Indo-Pacific trade bloc since it was formed and the only European nation to be part of the club, which gives access to some of the fastest-growing markets in the world.

Meanwhile, the first agreements negotiated from scratch with Australia and New Zealand came into force in May marking a major milestone.

And the UK last month signed a trade deal with Florida, bringing the total number with US states to seven.

There are also more deals on the horizon with a bumper pact with India expected imminently.

The UK fired the starting gun on talks for a new trade agreement with South Korea in November, while there will be negotiations with Turkey on an updated tie-up.

A landmark report by the Institute for Economic Affairs think tank last month found both goods and services exports rose after Brexit.

In other Brexit wins, Japanese car giant Nissan in November announced it is investing £2 billion in its Sunderland plan.

It came months after Jaguar Land Rover-owner Tata confirmed plans in July to invest £4 billion in a new UK gigafactory in Somerset.

Meanwhile, Britain has leapfrogged France to become the world’s eighth-biggest manufacturer.

And the UK unveiled £29.5 billion of foreign investment at the Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace in November.

Marco Forgione, director general of the Institute of Export and International Trade, said it is “clear there is a real appetite in overseas markets for UK goods, products and services”.

He said: “It is encouraging to see that UK exports have witnessed strong year-on-year growth.

“All the evidence shows that firms who trade internationally grow faster, hire more people and are more resilient – which is good news for them and for the wider economy.

“The strong growth in UK services exports is especially important as they make up per cent of our economy and account for half of our global exports. The UK ranks second globally for services exports, and first in Europe.

“Our recent report shows that there are tremendous opportunities to increase services exports across all the UK’s regions even further next year.

“It has certainly been a year of trade highlights, with milestones such as CPTPP and deals with the likes of Australia and New Zealand opening up exciting new opportunities.

“Looking ahead to 2024, to really turbo boost the UK economy we need more Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) reaping the incredible benefits of international trade, by providing them with the support and tools to start their export journeys.”



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