The November trade figures repeated the picture of our long years of membership of the EU. We remain in heavy deficit, thanks to a large deficit with the EU. Our trade with the rest of the world is in surplus.
November saw new records for the level of our imports from Germany, Spain, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Germany remains by far and away the largest exporter to the UK, selling us £5.3bn of imported goods in the month. The USA remains our biggest trade partner for our exports, buying £3.8bn of our goods in November.
The reason I voted for Out of the EU in 1975 was I ran the numbers on the UK in the EU at the request of my then employer. It was quite clear that the EU was going for asymmetric trade freedom in ways which would help the manufacturers of Germany and France export to us whilst not helping the service providers of the UK export so much to them. I forecast a continuing run of large deficits, as happened. I also ran the numbers on UK contributions, which were large and rising, as that was prior to the Thatcher renegotiation which got the net contribution down usefully. Mr Blair then gave some of that away putting us back to almost as bad a position as the original bad deal.
The UK is made to pay far too much for the alleged privilege of importing from Germany and the others. We would trade quite easily with them without belonging to their expensive club. I am not out to transfer our deficit somewhere else, but stopping the club subs would cut the deficit substantially anyway.