The SNP’s case for independence is blown out of the water by figures released by the Scottish government itself, pro-Union campaigners have claimed.

First Minister Humza Yousaf has continued to make the case for going it alone since he succeeded Nicola Sturgeon earlier this year.

To that end, the Scottish Government published the latest in a series of papers earlier this month, this time focusing on plans for an independent Scotland to rejoin the European Union.

However, Scotland in Union claimed official export data published today underlined the vital importance of the UK’s single market for Scottish employers.

Data for 2021 indicates that trade with the rest of the UK – £48.6billion – accounts for 61 percent of all Scotland’s exports.

READ MORE: EU chief opens door for UK to rejoin – hails ‘important beginning’

The figure dwarfs exports to every country in the EU combined, which totalled just 19 percent (£15billion), while non-EU exports made up 20 percent (£16.3billion).

In other words, trade with the rest of the UK is three times as important for Scotland’s economy as the EU.

Scotland in Union argues the statistics expose the “glaring holes” in the various taxpayer-funded papers, claiming they fail to recognise the importance of the UK single market for jobs and livelihoods.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “Being part of the UK is vital for jobs and livelihoods in Scotland.

“The rest of the UK is by far our biggest market, with significantly more trade with our closest neighbours than every single EU country combined.

“The SNP and the Greens’ continued push for us to leave the UK to join the EU simply makes no economic sense.”

From whisky and salmon to manufactured goods and professional services, Scotland has “extraordinary talent” which was is in high demand at home and abroad, Ms Nash added.

Humza Yousaf says independent Scotland will rejoin the EU

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She continued: “We should be incredibly proud of that, but the nationalists want to put our reputation at risk and weaken our country.

“Rather than their negative vision for Scotland, we have a bright future ahead of us as part of the UK where we can focus on delivering economic growth for our nation, creating more opportunities for our businesses, and providing job security for the people of Scotland.”

Speaking last week, the Scottish Government’s External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson told “Independence would give Scotland direct representation in European decision-making for the very first time, providing opportunities for our economy to grow inside a market which is seven times the size of the UK and escape the damage of the UK’s hard Brexit, which is hitting Scotland’s economy and communities hard.”

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The Exports Statistics Scotland 2021 report reveals:

  • Despite a small (6.2 percent) increase in 2021 to £31.3billion, the estimated value of Scotland’s international exports remained lower than before the pandemic (11.5 percent lower than in 2019)
  • In 2021, the value of Scotland’s exports to the EU comprised just under half (48 percent) of international exports and was 11.7 percent lower than in 2019
  • In contrast, the value of Scotland’s exports to the rest of the UK was four percent higher in 2021 compared to 2019
  • Scotland’s international exports rely heavily on manufacturing, whereas exports to the rest of the UK rely more heavily on services
  • ‘Food, beverages, and tobacco’ remains the largest industry sector for Scotland’s international exports, accounting for a fifth (20 percent) of Scotland’s international export value in 2021

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