LONDON: April 21, 2016. As U.K. politicians continue to debate the efficacy of Britain's exit from the European Union (EU), a report from Barclays says a 'Remain' vote would see UK exports to the 28-nation bloc rise from £231.2 billion to £367.6 billion by 2026.
Barclays says while transport will be the fastest-growing goods export sector in the next decade, reflecting solid demand in automotive and aerospace industries, "a decision to leave the EU would cause a significant shake-up of the UK's current trade arrangements – not only with the EU single market, but also with the rest of the world".
By 2026 the bank forecasts financial services will be the UK's single largest export sector by value, having overtaken machinery and electrical goods at £80.9 billion to reach £104 billion. The export value of transport goods will rise from £30.3 billion in 2016 to £46.5 billion in the next 10 years, while the value of transport services will rise to £56.9 billion by 2026 –becoming Britain's fourth most valuable export sector.
The U.S. and Germany will remain the UK's two largest trading partners, but their respective shares of UK exports will decline says Barclays. Last year the U.S. accounted for 13 percent of all goods exports and 23 percent of all services exports.
For both goods and services the share of UK exports to the EU has declined gradually over the past decade, as shipments to non-EU markets have grown at a faster rate than the UK's exports to other EU member states. However the bloc still accounted for 47 percent of UK goods exports and 40 percent of services exports last year according to the report.
Commenting on the findings, Matt Tuck, head of Global Transaction Banking at Barclays said: "These latest findings demonstrate the increasing importance of the UK as a global services hub, in addition to the traditional UK stronghold for goods. The transatlantic connection leads the way with the U.S. set to remain our largest individual trade partner over the next ten years with countries in the EU another key export destination for UK companies."
Barclays says Britain's exports to China will rise 115 percent by 2026 – making it the UK's 6th largest market.