UK exports of goods and services to the rest of the world were higher than UK exports to the EU for ninth year running

In figures released in the second calendar year after the EU referendum, exports to non-EU countries amounted to around £342 billion in 2017, showing the worldwide demand for British goods and services remains. Exports to EU countries were around £274 billion in 2017.

The fastest growing export market for the UK since 2010 was Oman, with exports increasing by 354% to £3 billion. This was followed by Macedonia (FYROM) with UK trade growing by 318% to £1 billion and then Kazakhstan which was up by 210% to £2 billion.

Overall exports of goods rose by 13 per cent to £339billion, while services increased by 7 per cent to £277billion.

The total trade deficit – the difference between UK exports and imports – narrowed by £5billion to £25.8billion.

The US remained the UK’s top export market, buying over £112billion worth of goods and services in 2017, an increase of 8 per cent on the year before.

Other top markets included Germany, France, the Netherlands and Ireland.

Exports to Germany totalled £56.8billion last year – the second highest figure after the US. For France the total was £40.4billion, the Netherlands £39billion and Ireland £34billion.

British exports to China jumped to £22billion, a 29 per cent rise from 2016. It is now the UK’s sixth largest export market, accounting for 3.6 per cent of sales last year compared with less than 1 per cent in 1999.

Trade with India also increased, with the UK exporting £6.7billion there in 2017, up nearly a fifth from £5.7billion in 2016.