Dependence on EU exports revealed

Forgemasters is a big exporter. Here, two giant castings weighing 600 tonnes leave the site bound for Venezuela.
Forgemasters is a big exporter. Here, two giant castings weighing 600 tonnes leave the site bound for Venezuela.
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New research shows Sheffield exports five times as much to the EU as it does to the US, and 28 times more than it does to China.

Some 56 per cent of exports from the city go to the EU, compared to 12 per cent to the US and two per cent to China.

Forgemasters

Forgemasters

The figures, from 2014, are in a report by Centre for Cities which shows Sheffield is 20th in a list of 60 cities based on the scale of EU exports. Nationally, some 48 per cent of all exports go to the Continent.

Sheffield is below the national average for exporting to the US and China. Nationally, 15 per cent of all exports go to the US and five per cent to China.

Sheffield’s total exports per job is £8,640, well below the national average of £15,690. ‘Manufactured articles’ are its main export industry.

Barnsley was in the bottom 10, with total exports of just £7,420 per job and Doncaster was second bottom - out of 62 towns and cities - with exports of just £5,410 per job.

Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg

Both towns sent more than half of all their exports to the EU.

The report states: ‘Last June the UK took the momentous decision to leave the European Union.

‘Since then, the national debate has focused on how Brexit will affect economic growth and the UK’s international trade relationships once Article 50 is triggered.

‘Yet this is not only a national issue. Leaving the EU has implications for different parts of the UK and their relationship with the UK Government, the EU and beyond.’

On Wednesday, MPs voted to allow Prime Minister Theresa May to get Brexit negotiations under way. She set a deadline of 31 March for invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, when official divorce talks with the EU will start.

Adam Marshall, director general, British Chambers of Commerce, said: “As the analysis makes clear, our towns and cities are at the front line of the long-running battle to improve the UK’s export performance - and with it, our balance of payments.

“Across the UK, many businesses are seeing the current period of transition and change as an opportunity, and are enhancing the resources they commit to exporting their goods and services.

“Other firms have serious concerns, or don’t engage with the language of ‘export’. In all cases, accredited Chambers of Commerce are first ports of call for advice and support.

“Each year, Cities Outlook is an indispensable tool for all of us whose mission is to promote the growth and prosperity of places. Without successful cities, towns and counties, the future success of the UK is in doubt.”