Scotland’s GDP to collapse due to EU split, SNP says
The UK is the only country in northwestern Europe to suffer from a drop in exports since the Brexit vote in 2016, according to a new study.
Analysis by the House of Commons library, using IMF data, shows that all neighboring European countries have increased their exports over the past five years except the UK.
The SNP jumped at the numbers to say it proved Boris Johnson was wrong to claim Brexit would boost trade. Nationalists claimed it would wipe out £ 9bn from Scotland’s £ 9bn GDP.
Data from Commons shows that the United Kingdom has experienced a drop in its exports of -5.5% over five years, placing it behind 13 neighboring countries: Ireland (+ 48.1%), Finland (+18 , 8%), Sweden (+ 15.5%), the Netherlands (+ 15%), Denmark (+ 14%), Luxembourg (+ 13.6%), Austria (+ 11.1%), Germany (+ 9.5%), Switzerland (+ 7.5%), France (+ 6.7%), Belgium (+ 6.2%, Norway (+ 4.8%) and Iceland (+ 0.8 %).
On average, independent countries the size of Scotland or smaller recorded the largest increase in exports since 2016 at + 16.7%, compared to an average increase of + 11.9% for all northern countries -western Europe.
When the impact of Covid-19 is factored in and the numbers are compared from 2020 to date, the UK still has the worst drop in exports of any North West European country with -19 , 3%.
The analysis also reveals that in the first four months after joining the EEC, the total value of UK goods exports increased by + 16% compared to the first four months of 1972. In the In contrast, in the first four months of 2021 after Brexit, the total value of UK goods exports fell by -11% compared to the first four months of 2020.
In a statement, SNP Shadow Trade Secretary Drew Hendry said: ‘Far from boosting trade, as Boris Johnson had promised us, Brexit has seen UK exports decline and its trade balance s ‘collapse at worst in northwestern Europe.
“Scotland did not vote for Brexit, but it has already cost our country billions of pounds in damage – and analysis shows it will continue to hit our economy, reducing Scotland’s GDP until ‘to £ 9 billion by 2030 compared to EU membership.
“Scotland deserves better than this. Three of the top five countries that have maintained a positive trade balance since the EU referendum, and the top three since the coronavirus outbreak, are similar in size or smaller than Scotland. It’s a glimpse of what Scotland could do and be if we had the full powers of independence. “
However, critics say the Commons figures largely cover a period when the UK was still in the bloc and the SNP provided no analysis to show that a separate Scotland would have turned the tide over the course of this period.