Blog: Brexit Britain to reach £1trillion annual export target 15 years late, figures show – Express

The UK will reach its £1trillion annual export target 15 years after its initial date, new figures have shown. Ministers have been slammed for leaving a “record of failure and broken promises’ as a result of the projections from the Department for International Trade (DIT).

The data indicated UK exports will not reach £1trillion until 2035, with the total due to fall £707billion next year.

David Cameron, who campaigned in 2016 for the UK to stay in the European Union, set the £1trillion target for 2020.

However, Boris Johnson later gave an end date of 2030 in his campaign called “Made in the UK, sold to the world”.

The figures emerged after Exports Minister Andrew Bowie gave a parliamentary answer.

The estimates are based on forecasts from the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR).

The OBR showed exports falling from £739billion last year to £707billion next year.

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FSB policy chair Tina McKenzie said: “Trade barriers, including red tape, sluggish economic performance domestically and globally and insufficient export support have led to the continued suppression of exports.

“Our research shows one in eight small exporters have temporarily or permanently stopped sales to the EU, with a further one in 10 considering doing so.”

However, FSB suggested a new fund to support small exporters and changes to UK-EU trading terms could help ministers hit the 2030 target.

Labour’s Shadow International Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds slammed his Conservative counterparts following the release of the recent data.

He told the Guardian: “The Conservatives’ record on exports is one of failure and broken promises.

“In 2012, they pledged to reach £1trillion of exports by 2020. Six chancellors and four Prime Ministers later, the OBR predicts the target will be hit 15 years late.”

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Mr Thomas-Symonds added: “This failure will mean the UK missing out on growth and job opportunities, risking us falling further down the world economic rankings.”

However, the pro-Brexit Vote Leave campaign claimed the UK’s departure from the Brussels bloc will create new opportunities for Britain.

The campaign said: “If we vote leave and take back control, we will gain the power to strike our own trade deals, creating new business opportunities and creating more jobs.”

A spokesperson for the Department for International Trade (DIT) told “UK exports were £802.7billion in the 12 months to the end of November 2022, an increase of almost 25 percent compared to the previous 12 months.

“We’re promoting the UK’s world-class exporters to help them take advantage of global opportunities and sell more of their goods and services across the globe.

“We have already signed trade deals with 71 countries plus the EU, and we are now seeking new deals with India, the Gulf, Canada, Mexico, Israel and the CPTPP in the Indo-pacific, which will open enormous new export opportunities and spur growth across the whole country.”

A DIT source added: “Of course, our Race to a Trillion target goes further than the current forecasts. That’s the point of an ambitious target.

“Kemi has full confidence in our world class exporters and knows, with our support, they can smash this target, boosting wages and creating jobs in the process.”

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