Brexit: UK set to hit £1trn export target 15 years late

The UK will be 15 years late in hitting a Conservative government target of £1tn in annual exports after trade was hit by Brexit difficulties, it has emerged. The

government’s own projections have revealed that the value of British exports will not hit £1tn until 2035, despite a pledge by David Cameron that the goal would be achieved by

2020. Boris Johnson later revived the promise and said the target would be reached by 2030 – but Department for International Trade (DIT) estimates now show it won’t be hit

until five years later. Tory trade minister Andrew Bowie revealed the latest projections in a parliamentary answer – which also showed that exports are expected fall to

£707bn next year from £739bn last year. “Extrapolations of the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast suggest £1tn exports could be achieved by around 2035 without

additional intervention,” said the Tory MP. More than 40 per cent of British products previously exported to the EU have disappeared from European shelves since Brexit,

according to research published at the end of last year. Economists at the Centre for Business Prosperity at Aston University said the export gap created by Brexit has

“widened rather than closed” in the first year of the new barriers being put in place. But Mr Bowie blamed an international economic slowdown for the trade slump. “We

recognise the speed by which the UK reaches this milestone will be impacted by macroeconomic factors such as global demand and exchange rates,” the MP said. The minister

added: “This has proven to be the case over the past year where we have experienced external shocks and a spike in inflation.”