Claims that the UK can thrive after Brexit by trading with the rest of the world have received a boost with the release of the latest official figures.

In 2018, UK exports to some non-EU countries grew faster than those to other Member States.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has highlighted growth in four markets as being particularly noteworthy: India, which saw imports from the UK rise by 19.3% last year; Japan — up by 7.9%; plus China (4.6%) and Canada (4.2%).

Using data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the DIT points out that exports from the UK to the EU rose by 3.6% in 2018. It also notes the share of UK exports to the EU has fallen by nearly 5% over the past 10 years — and last year stood at 45.6%.

The USA remains the UK’s top destination for exports, with ONS data showing an increase of 3.9% in 2018 to a total of £118.2 billion.

Overall, UK exports increased by 2.7% in 2018, to £634.1 billion, with the combined value of exported goods and services to non-EU trading partners put at £345.1 billion.

The DIT says that the new figures will give UK exporters “a significant boost”, as they confirm that demand for UK goods and services is growing around the globe.

Even with an increasingly challenging global economic outlook, these latest figures show demand for UK exports across the globe continues to grow revealing a clear appetite for British products all around the world, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox suggested.

“Now more than ever is the time for UK businesses to be exploring opportunities overseas,” he concluded.

Last reviewed 12 April 2019