The UK’s total exports have now recovered to pre-pandemic levels, measured against 2018. In 2022, UK exports were £815 billion, up by 21% in current prices compared with 2018, and up by 0.5% once adjusted for inflation. The latest data shows Scotland is the third highest exporting nation or region in both goods and services. In 2022 Scottish exports of goods totalled £35.7 billion, up by 23.5% in current prices from the previous year.
I know just what a favourable position Scotland is in, in terms of its trade exports. We do very well, even though we are held back by the constraints of this Union. The Office for National Statistics figures show that UK exports are lagging behind other G7 countries. Before the Minister tells us that this is because of the war in Ukraine and covid, let me point out that all our G7 partners have faced those headwinds as well, but only the United Kingdom, sadly including Scotland, faces the English Brexit chaos that is damaging our trade. What discussions has she had to apologise to the Scottish Government and to Scottish businesses for the drag she places on Scottish trade?
The hon. Gentleman started so positively. If he is against Brexit, then he is against every trade deal, and he is against the most integrated single market in the world, which is Scotland and England. All he wants to do is to split, split, split. I have already told him the good news that the total amount of exports in pounds is up. There is also fantastic news about whisky—surely that can raise a smile from the hon. Gentleman—and about services: in 2022, UK services were up by 24% in current prices, and by 4% when the figure was adjusted for inflation. I know it is difficult for the hon. Gentleman to accept good news from the Government Benches, but it is good for his constituents, so he should welcome it.
I am afraid the independent Office for Budget Responsibility does not share the Minister’s optimism about exports. The analysis that accompanied the spring Budget forecast that the UK would face a 6.6% fall in exports this year. That is equivalent to a fall of over £51 billion, and would represent an average hit of over £186,000 to the more than 273,000 UK exporters. It will have a devastating impact, and is it any wonder that the UK is predicted to have the worst growth in the G7? Surely, if Ministers recognised the scale of these projected losses, they would be taking urgent steps to support our exporters now.
There will always be data, forecasts, and the evaluation and re-evaluation of those data and forecasts. It is important for the House to know about all the good news that was missing from the right hon. Gentleman’s question. According to a PwC report, the UK will continue to be the fastest growing G7 economy until 2050. That is indeed good news. [Interruption.] It is a forecast. The right hon. Gentleman himself mentioned an OBR forecast.
Exports are up, including business services exports, and we are on track to reach our target of £1 trillion by 2030—and before the right hon. Gentleman jumps to his feet, let me add that 2030 is several years away, and I look forward to being on the Government Benches on this side of the House telling him, on that side of the House, how close we are to that target.