Breaking News…(imagine the text is moving across the bottom of the screen while a drum thumps in the background)
News just in…the government has released the latest import-export figures for Scotland and they confirm the arguments made in the blog below. Thank you, John, in National Accounts Statistics.
They sent them in tabular form which is pretty much encrypting them for all the use they are to me. But, with the aid of my eight-year-old, I found the 2015 stats. They appear to show Scotland’s exports to the rest of the UK to be £45 billion while imports from rUK to be nearer £51 billion, a difference of £6 billion. As I said, they need us just as much as we need them. Indeed, if you think of England’s exports totalling in the region of £220 billion, then the share they send to Scottish markets is about 23 per cent of their export total. Not as much as 63 per cent, I grant you, but a huge economic hit on a country which will be struggling to find markets post Brexit…and even if it wasn’t.
Of course you may consider that you’d rather be a net exporter than importer to another market and I agree with that but that’s another twist on the tale that confuses the message. It’s for another day.
There is in the publication another of those provisos about how hard it is to compare some companies and products with others. And in the latest edition of the Global Connections Survey, the one that shows 63 per cent of our exports going to rUK, theres the rather telling caveat that the information is from a survey, one in which 5000 of Scotland’s 350,000 companies were asked to collate information and only 1500 did so. Many of them point out how incomplete their information is. So I’m not the only one confused enough not to buy simplistic messages about poor wee Scotland and mighty England.
ENOUGH! There’s wine in the fridge…by