Jonathan Walker, head of policy and campaigns, North East England Chamber of Commerce said: Today’s figures demonstrate the ability of North East firms to grow their international markets in uncertain times.
However, the data also paint a clear picture of our firms’ reliance on access to EU markets, which account for almost 60% of our total exports.
“Anything which hinders the ability of North East firms to trade with the EU will undoubtedly have negative consequences for our economy. Frictionless borders and the ease with which we can move goods into the EU are essential for growing our trade still further. Government should therefore think again about the wisdom of leaving the Customs Union when data such as this clearly demonstrates the value of frictionless trade with the EU.
“For our future prosperity, we should be encouraging more and more firms to move into exporting by making it as easy as possible to do business overseas and celebrating the success of our new and existing exporters.”