News story

New analysis shows growing trade with Scotland

The biggest and fastest growing market for Scottish goods and services, outside Scotland itself, is the rest of the UK.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Edinburgh city centre

With less than 3 months to go before the referendum on Scotland’s membership of the UK, new analysis shows:

  • in 2012, £47.6 billion worth of Scottish exports ranging from chemicals to consultancy, to food and finance have made their way south of the border (this excludes oil and gas)

The £47.6 billion is:

  • almost double what Scotland exports to the rest of the world combined
  • more than 4 times what it exports to the rest of the EU
  • equivalent to a third of Scotland’s GDP
Graph showing Scottish exports by destination
Scottish exports by main destination (2002 to 2012), nominal terms (Source: Scotland’s Global Connections Survey 2012)

And these exports are growing in value faster than other markets:

  • between 2002 and 2012, the value of exports to the rest of the UK increased by 69%
  • that’s compared with just 7% increase for the same period to the rest of the EU
  • and sales increases to Asia of 60%, and to North America of 63%

Sales to the rest of the UK are vital for many Scottish business sectors. Customer loyalty to a UK industry and the single domestic UK-wide market supports high trade levels. A break-up of the UK, even with EU regulations and requirements, would not guarantee the same level of consistency.


Published 14 July 2014