People who want to stay in the EU wrongly think our trade is at risk. They then compound their error by telling people half our trade is with the EU.
They clearly have not read the balance of payments figures. Less than half our goods exports are to the rest of the EU, and well under half our service exports are to the rest of the EU. The total of our published export trade with the rest of the EU is 43.6% (latest figures available, Q3 2015).
You cannot get to half our trade even if you add in imports as well as exports. What the Remainians never point out is that we import so much more than we export to the rest of the EU, so the percentage of our imports from the EU is a lot higher than the percentage of our exports.
In Q3 2015 54% of our goods imports came from the rest of the EU, but the total imports were still below half when you add in services.
All these figures also have to be adjusted for the Rotterdam/Amsterdam effects. Quite a lot of our exports go first to a large continental port, and then are shipped onwards to a third country outside the EU. This is counted as trade with the EU. Taking this off means less than 40% of our exports are to the rest of the EU. The ONS assumes around half the published trade with the Netherlands is in practice trade with the rest of the world.