UK exports to EU rise as Brexit talks enter next stage

LONDON — As Brexit gets nearer, British firms are exporting more to the other 27 countries in the European Union, a state of affairs that will linger over the difficult discussions ahead on the U.K’s future relationship with the bloc.

Official figures released Friday show that seven of the top 10 destinations for British exports in 2017 were EU countries. Selling everything from cars to pharmaceuticals and gin, British firms exported some 37.7 billion pounds ($53 billion) worth of goods to Germany in 2017, around 13 percent more than the year before. Germany accounted for 11 percent of British exports, up a tad on the year before, and second overall behind the United States.

Other EU countries in the top 10 included France, where exports spiked by nearly 30 percent in 2017, and Ireland, the only EU country to share a land border with the United Kingdom.

Overall, EU countries accounted for 48.8 percent of British goods exports to the EU in 2017, up from 48.2 percent the year before.

The increasing importance of the EU as a destination for British goods is largely due to the fact that Britain remains a member of the EU until March 2019. Exporters also enjoying a boon from the fall in the value of the British pound after the country’s 2016 vote to leave the bloc.

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Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/uk-exports-to-eu-rise-as-brexit-talks-enter-next-stage/2018/02/09/47daea12-0dda-11e8-998c-96deb18cca19_story.html

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