Being part of the UK ‘benefits Scottish businesses at home and abroad’, Scottish Secretary Scotland Alistair Carmichael said today, in response to the Scottish Government’s Global Connections survey.
The figures released today show Scottish international exports in 2012 rose by £1.4bn to £26bn and Scotland‘s trade within the rest of the UK increased by £1.9bn to £47.6bn.
Mr Carmichael said:
The increase in Scottish exports and Scotland’s trade within the rest of the UK is welcome news. This shows being part of the UK benefits Scottish businesses at home and abroad.
Our trade with the rest of the UK continues to grow and remains by far Scotland’s largest trading partner. Our integrated system supports businesses to trade within a UK single market of over 60m people with the same regulation in place whether you are in Wick or Weymouth, Lerwick or Liverpool.
The rise in Scottish exports, particularly in manufacturing, is very encouraging. It demonstrates the value of Scottish businesses from being able to draw on both the expertise of UK Trade & Investment’s network covering 169 offices in over 100 markets around the world. Scotland also benefits a diplomatic network of over 14,000 people in nearly 270 posts in over 150 countries.
These positive figures raise more questions about the proposals put forward in the Scottish Government’s White Paper. The costs of attempting to replicate the quality of the UK’s trade network would be a huge burden on public finances in an independent Scotland. Together with introducing a separate system of tax and regulation this would mean Scottish businesses would be likely to end up paying more to receive less both at home and abroad.