ICAEW chart of the week – UK international trade

This week the UK Cabinet is meeting to discuss future trading relationships after the UK’s departure from the European Single Market and Customs Union at the end of 2020. 

The result of these discussions could have a significant impact on the economy, as they will affect not only trade with Europe, but also with other countries around the world. 

We would expect the briefing materials for the Cabinet will include an analysis similar to our chart of the week which shows the volume of trade between the UK and the rest of the world, based on numbers reported by the Office for National Statistics.

For example, trade with the USA of £166bn comprises exports of goods and services of £100bn a year and imports of £66bn, while trade with European countries of £613bn comprises exports from the UK of £265bn and imports of £348bn.  

Overall European countries (including Norway and Switzerland) constitute 54% of the UK’s international trade, followed by the Americas with 18%, Asia-Pacific with 17% and other EMEA countries with 8%.  

This chart, or rather its Cabinet equivalent, will no doubt form a key element to the discussions. What ministers decide to make of it will hopefully become clearer in the weeks and months to come.

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