UK vs EU Exports of Goods & Services as a Percentage Share of GDP

UK vs EU Exports of Goods & Services as a Percentage Share of GDP

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Interestingly the UK has the lowest exports as a % share of GDP in the EU, France comes a very close second worst. This statistic surprised me a lot, I’d assumed the UK exported a lot, but relative to most EU countries we are the worst!

The EU average is around 45% (Germany 47%), whilst the UK and France are around 30% of their GDP is due to exports.

Germany (~47%) as a % share of GDP basically exports 50% more than the UK (~30%) and France (~30%) export.

The Maths: The German GDP is 47% due to exports. The UK & French GDP is 30% due to exports. 47% is roughly 50% bigger than 30%.

The Remain narrative is the UK economy thrives due to EU membership, the EU facilitates an awesome UK export market. Clearly this isn’t the case otherwise the UK’s GDP would be comprised of a much higher percentage of exports like we see with Germany (47%) or the EU average (~45%).

We do OK economically, but it’s not due to exports to either the EU or rest of the world! The UK economic success (6th largest economy as of June 2019 is a success by any measure) is the home/domestic market (generates 70% of the UK’s GDP), in particular in services which the EU in trade agreement terms hasn’t done a particularly good job promoting.

Consider most EU FTAs barely touch services, EU FTAs are goods focused which is only 20% of the UK and France’s economies!

If this were just a UK problem we could blame the UK (successive governments messing up), but this also impacts France. Both the UK and France have mostly services based economies, both economies are pretty much 80% services and where the UK exports the least in the EU, France exports the second least (it’s pretty much the same amount: UK 30.5%, France 30.9% : 2017 data)!

The EU appears rubbish at promoting the export of services and as service based economies both France and the UK can’t take full advantage of the EU trade agreements like Germany can: the German economy is close to 70% services, relative to the UK/France the German economy has a huge exportable goods market (basically 50% bigger) which takes advantage of EU trade agreements.

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