Number of exporting businesses increase ahead of Brexit

The number of VAT-registered businesses exporting goods across the UK has increased to 110,800, new figures have revealed.

The number represents a rise of more than 1,000 businesses since this time last year.

The report, published by the Department for International Trade, also reveals that the export of goods from England increased by 2.1 per cent to £248.6 billion, while goods exports in Scotland increased by 5.6 per cent to £30.3 billion.

Meanwhile, goods exports in Wales and Northern Ireland increased by 4.2 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively, to £17.2 billion and £8.9 billion.

The figures also suggest that businesses have seen an “increased appetite” for UK goods from non-EU countries, with the number exporting to these countries – the most popular being the USA, Australia and Switzerland – in the last quarter rising by 1.3 per cent to 49,000.

Likewise, the research shows that in the final three months of 2018, the average value of goods exported in the UK per exporter rose to £780,000.

Commenting on the report, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said: “The continued rise in British exports across the country highlights the true exporting power across all UK regions. This is fantastic news for British businesses, who should be encouraged by these figures to take advantage of the clear opportunities available for growing their business overseas.

“People from across the world want to buy British, and through our Export Strategy my department is fully committed to helping businesses make the most of international opportunities.”

The research has been published after a recent poll found that just 40,973 have registered for an Economic Operator and Registration Identification (EORI) number. In a letter issued earlier this year, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) warned that businesses who trade with the EU will need to register for an EORI number to continue trading should the UK leave the EU without a deal this month.