- Cumulatively, over the last six years, the UK trade surplus with the world outside the EU was £ 21 bn. Over the same period, the UK deficit on trade with EU-26 was £190bn.
- The UK traded in deficit with nineteen of its twenty-six EU partners in 2011.
- Between 2008, when recession took hold, & 2011, UK exports outside the EU grew by four per cent; exports to EU-26 shrank by ten per cent.
- The UK Gross Contribution to EU Institutions continued its inexorable upward march, costing the British taxpayer £ 53 million per day in 2011.
- In 2010 & 2011, 56% (probably 60% or more if account is taken of the Rotterdam- Antwerp Effect & the Netherlands Distortion) of British exports went to the world outside the EU. (Taking 60% as the real proportion, this means that UK exports outside the EU are already 50% higher [60 minus 40 divided by 40] than UK exports to the EU.)
- In 2010, 44% of British exports (probably 40% or less if account is taken of the Rotterdam-Antwerp Effect & the Netherlands Distortion) went to EU-26. The proportion of UK worldwide exports going to EU-26 is shrinking.
- In 2011, the UK traded in massive deficit – £ 46 billion – with EU-26.
- On its trade with the whole world in 2011 the UK ran large deficits (minus £ 122 bn) on Goods & Transfers, and large surpluses (+ £ 93 bn) on Services & Income).
- In 2011, UK exports of Goods (“visibles”) accounted for 43% of all UK exports worldwide. “Invisibles” (Services, Income & Transfers) accounted for 57% of all UK exports worldwide. In other words, for the UK, the export value of “invisibles” is 33% (57 divided by 43) higher than the export value of “visibles”.
- The UK appears to have a structural surplus on its trade with the USA. In 2011, the UK surplus remained above £ 20 billion.
- The cumulated UK trade surplus with the USA over the six–year period 2006-2011 is £114bn, compared with a cumulative UK deficit with EU-26 over the same period of £190bn.
- The UK appears to have a structural surplus on its trade with Australia, recording a surplus with that country in each of the eleven last years.
- The UK appears to have a structural surplus on its trade with Switzerland, recording a surplus with that country in each of the nine last years.
- In 2011, the UK Gross Contribution to EU Institutions hit a new record of £ 19.2 bn, equivalent to £ 53 million per day. UK Gross & Net Contributions began rising sharply from 2010 onwards as a result of the abandonment by Mr Blair, then Prime Minister, on 17th December 2005, of part of the Fontainebleau Abatement.
Notes & Data Sources
The Pink Book 2012, 31st July 2012, www.statistics.gov.uk > Economy > Balance of Payments > The Pink Book 2012. The statistical data summarised in this Briefing Note is from Chapter 9: Geographical Breakdown of Current Account.
Payments to & from supra- & international organisations, & remittances by expatriates, which are included in “Transfers”, are not strictly–speaking “Trade”, but a large proportion of them are trade-related. HM Government itself justifies UK net payments to the EU on the grounds (unsupported by any evidence) that “the UK needs to be in the EU for trade”.
The data above is not adjusted for the Rotterdam-Antwerp Effect (described on page 242 of the Pink Book 2012) or the separate Netherlands Distortion ( see Global Britain Briefing Note No 64, “The Rotterdam-Antwerp Effect & the Netherlands Distortion” 7th January 2011).
The effect of these two distortions is to significantly overstate (in the Pink Book) the value of UK exports to EU-26, & to significantly understate the value of UK exports outside the EU.
For full tables go to the pdf version.
Download Briefing Note: BN#80 Pink Book 2012.pdf