Stefano Fugazzi (ABC Economics) – The EU is the UK’s most important trading partner. According to statistics published by a House of Commons report, as at 2012 the EU accounted for 46% of its goods and services exports (£224bn) and 51% of its imports (£265bn).
From the graphs reported above, the reader will notice a decline in the share of exports going to the EU over the past decade. This is predominantly due to the fact that since 2000 the European Union has signed bilateral commercial deals with Mexico, South Africa, Chile and South Korea, dynamics which “eroded” the UK market-share.
The UK currently runs an overall trade deficit with the EU. In 2012 the deficit reached £41bn, the highest level since the UK joined the EU in 1980, though as a proportion of GDP, the trade deficit has been larger in the past.
More recently, a surplus in financial and business services has partially offset a deficit in goods. As at 2012 the services surplus with the EU was £13bn.