Growing Scotland’s export base has been a key objective of successive Scottish administrations. Internationalisation is one of the four principal drivers of growth within the current Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy. However, the UK’s decision to leave the EU has the potential to impact on many of Scotland’s existing trading patterns in new and perhaps significant ways.
Whilst debate continues over the arguments for and against Brexit, one thing that we can be confident is that, with currently around 45% of international exports destined for the EU, any change in Scotland’s trade links with the Single Market has the potential to have far reaching consequences for sectors and firms across the country.
Post-Brexit, new opportunities arising from the UK agreeing trade deals with third countries may also be possible, though this will depend on what is finally agreed regarding the long-term trading relationship with the EU.
The aim of this report is to consider options for developing this capacity and to inform resource planning in the Scottish Government.