Nicola, why won’t you tell your voters who really buys from Scotland?

Exclusive : Without ‘the Rest of the UK’, Scotland’s exports would be slashed by 60%

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2021

Scottish sales to the rest of the UK are 20 times larger than those to Germany

With less than 10 weeks to go before Scottish voters go to the polling stations to elect their Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), Facts4EU.Org is providing some much-needed clarity and reality, in the form of summary reports we have researched from official data released by the Scottish government.

In the midst of Nicola Sturgeon’s current political crisis, the SNP has continued to laud the EU and attack the rest of the UK.

Yesterday in the Robert Burns Committee Room, former First Minister and former SNP leader the Rt Hon Alex Salmond gave his damning evidence to the committee of MSPs tasked with uncovering the truth about the SNP Government's recent behaviour, as well as the behaviour of senior Scottish civil servants.

(Readers can view the six-hour session here.)

Today Facts4EU.Org uncovers some more truth for readers. In this report we start by showing the basics of who Scotland sells to. What follows comes from the latest data we have analysed from the Scottish government and its statistics arm. The data below is therefore incontestable.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Just who does Scotland rely on, to buy its products and services?

  • The SNP’s rhetoric is anti-British and for years has been alienating British consumers and companies
  • Yet over 60% of Scotland’s sales of goods and services are still bought by its closest neighbour
  • The rest of the UK is by far and away Scotland’s biggest market in the world
  • It is over 20 times larger than that of the EU’s largest economy: Germany
  • These sales are worth over £50 billion per annum to Scottish companies and employers

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

  • The rest of the Union (United Kingdom) is by far Scotland’s biggest market – for goods AND services
  • The rest of the world is Scotland’s second-largest market
  • If we treat the EU27 countries as one bloc, then the EU comes in third

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

But aren’t part of Scotland’s sales to the rest of the UK for onward sale to the EU?

SNP nationalists often dismiss talk of the Scottish economy's reliance on the consumers and businesses in the rest of the UK. One claim which is regularly made is that these sales are in fact for onward transmission to the EU and to countries around the world.

No, they are not. Here is what the Scottish Parliament says in its last official report on this:

“In terms of exports to the rest of the UK, a proportion may be re-exported internationally. While it is not possible to quantify this exactly, it is likely to be a small proportion of the total. This is because exports from services, utilities and construction, which make up 72% of exports to the rest of the UK, are highly unlikely to be re-exported. The Scottish Government has also suggested that many of the manufactured goods exported to the rest of the UK are in sectors where re-exporting is unlikely.”

- Scottish Parliament official report, 14 Sep 2020

The SNP's Scotland is falling behind internationally

Our figures and charts above show that Scotland’s biggest market by far is the rest of the Union (the United Kingdom). Scotland has been a member since the Act of Union in 1707. This is the exact same single market which Ms Sturgeon wishes to leave and the exact same Act which she wishes to tear up.

When it comes to Scotland's performance internationally, even the Scottish Parliament in its latest report could not disguise how bad things have become. Here is what they said about the latest trade figures.

“International exports.... have remained broadly static as a proportion of GDP, whilst those of many similar sized nations have increased. Some of this decline can be attributed to specific events, particularly the decline in Scotland’s electronics manufacturing (the so called ‘Silicon Glen’). However, the general static trend shows that Scotland has not been internationalising at the same pace as its competitors.”

- Scottish Parliament official report, 14 Sep 2020

Scotland's exports have increased - the problem is that they have not increased at a rate to compete with comparable economies. As part of the research carried out by Facts4EU.Org, we can reveal that Scotland’s penetration of world markets is very poor. In fact there are now only 44 countries to which Scotland’s exports exceed the relatively small sum of £100 million per year.

If you missed it, the introductory article in this series on Scotland, the Union, and the EU can be found here.


Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP government have constantly found time - during the turbulence and the abuses of process taking place in the Salmond crisis – to praise the EU and criticise Brexit.

The SNP government have even found time to dictate that public buildings will fly the flag of a foreign power – a Union of which it is no longer a member - and yet to ban the flag of the Union of which it is in fact a member. In our view this is extraordinary and delusional behaviour, conceived out of bitterness, hate, and spite.

One simple truth is that the rest of the UK accounts for 60% of all Scottish exports, the rest of the world comes next with 21%, and the member countries of the EU account for just 19%.

The potential for Scotland once again to become a proud trading nation, freed from the shackles of the EU’s disastrous trade policies and performance and benefiting from the UK’s bold new initiatives worldwide, must now be considerable.

Ahead of the Holyrood elections, Facts4EU.Org intends to continue to publish occasional reports highlighting some basic facts regarding Scotland, its relationship with the rest of the UK, and the fanciful SNP notion that an independent Scotland would be warmly welcomed into the EU.

Could you be a part-sponsor of this series?

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[ Sources: Scottish Government official statistics | Scottish Parliament official reports ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Sat 27 Feb 2021

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