An independent Scotland could see a £5 billion boost to tax revenues by matching the export levels of other small advanced economies.

Analysis published last week by the House of Commons Library found that the UK had a trade deficit of £31 billion in 2018 – with the UK’s strength as an exporter of services masking an even wider deficit in the export of goods.

Brexit – and the increasing likelihood of a No Deal Brexit – is set to weaken the UK’s position as an exporter even further.

The Sustainable Growth Commission last year found that an independent Scotland could generate an additional £5 billion in tax revenues each year through a determined strategy to close the export gap with other small advanced economies.

Commenting, SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“The UK performs poorly as an exporter and Brexit will make that worse.

“It is pure fantasy to think that we can replace our EU membership with free-trade deals – which can take years, even decades, to negotiate – and end up better off.

“The abject humiliation of allowing Donald Trump to dictate the UK’s diplomatic staff shows that the UK’s negotiating position has never been weaker.

“Any trade deal negotiated between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump would be bad news for Scotland.

“In contrast, if an independent Scotland was to match the export levels of comparable independent countries we’d raise an additional £5 billion a year to support our public services.

“Faced with the prospect of a devastating No Deal Brexit, we need the full powers to meet Scotland’s potential – and that only comes with independence.”

The Sustainable Growth Commission found that:

“Increasing overseas exports from 20% of GDP to 40% of GDP would be a reasonable target to set in order to close the export gap with small advanced economy benchmark countries, implying an increase from under £30 billion to more than £60 billion. This could deliver a productivity boost of 8% of GDP and would be expected to generate additional taxation revenues of some £5 billion each year.”