New analysis published by the think Tank, Civitas, shows that the proportion of British trade with other EU member states has decreased to pre-1973 levels.
With the looming EU referendum, set to take place on the 23rd June, many of the key arguments on both sides of the debate have focused around the stability of the economy and trade with the single market.
The share of UK exports going to fellow Single Market countries has plummeted in the past decade and is now lower than it was when Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973, a new Civitas analysis shows.
British trade with the founding members of the EU have grown by just 2.5% in nearly 25 years. Moreover, the sum of the UK’s world exports going to founding members has nearly halved from 68% to 36% between 2007 and 2015.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published trade figures which show that the rest of the world is now a far more significant trading partner for exports from the UK.
Michael Burrage the author of Civitas’ ‘The Eurosceptic Handbook’ writes: “By whatever of these three measures one prefers to use, the Single Market has been an era of decline, in which UK exports to fellow members of the Single Market have sharply decelerated. If one of the goals of the Single Market was to raise UK exports to fellow members it has failed spectacularly.”
He adds, “No serious attempt has been made to explain why this has happened, probably because, in the UK at least, the Single Market has been continuously sold as a success story, and even as the “Crown Jewel” of European integration, so no-one really wants to acknowledge that it has serious problems.”