House of Commons Library

Statistics on UK-EU trade

Published Tuesday, November 7, 2017

This note provides some basic statistics on the UK's trade with the EU.

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This note provides basic figures on UK trade with the EU.

Main points:

  • The EU, taken as a whole is the UK’s largest trading partner. In 2016, UK exports to the EU were £236 billion (43% of all UK exports). UK imports from the EU were £318 billion (54% of all UK imports).
  • The share of UK exports accounted for by the EU has fallen over time from 54% in 2006 to 43% in 2016. The share of UK imports accounted for by the EU fell from 58% in 2002 to 50% in 2011 before increasing to 54% in 2016.
  • The UK had an overall trade deficit of £82 billion with the EU in 2016. A surplus of £14 billion on trade in services was outweighed by a deficit of £96 billion on trade in goods.
  • The UK had a trade surplus of £39 billion with non-EU countries. A surplus of £78 billion on trade in services outweighed a deficit of £39 billion on trade in goods.
  • Services accounted for 38% of the UK’s exports to the EU in 2016. Financial services and other business services are important categories of services exports to the EU.
  • Wales had the highest percentage of goods exports going to the EU of all the countries and regions in the UK in 2016. Northern Ireland had the highest proportion of goods imports from the EU.
  • EU tariffs are generally low but are high on some goods, especially agricultural products.





Commons Briefing papers CBP-7851

Authors: Matthew Ward; Dominic Webb

Topic: International trade

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