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Export of UK Services

Volume 718: debated on Thursday 21 July 2022

The Government are committed to promoting the UK’s world leading strengths in services. Latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics show that service exports were £316 billion in the 12 months to the end of May, an increase of 7% on the previous 12 months. The Government’s export strategy, published in November 2021 by the Secretary of State, recognises the importance of services and commits the Government to working with the sector in its implementation. That includes working with the CBI-led Trade in Services Council to understand and promote trade in services.

The Centre for Economic Policy Research has calculated that since Brexit there has been a 6% drop in service exports to the EU. Services are Scotland’s biggest export, so what, if anything, is the Department doing to stabilise service exports, never mind grow them? There is a real fear that the Government have no real plan for progress or change.

As we recover, we expect to see a continued increase in services exports. The hon. Member is right that Scotland is a significant exporter of services—worth more than £21 billion in 2020-21—making it the third largest exporting region in the UK. I wish all of our Scottish service exporters well, and it is the work of this Department to try to continue to grow that.