New research has shown exports have fallen to their lowest level for six years. A survey of 1,250 firms found that just over half said export orders have remained constant in recent months.
Both measures have fallen to their lowest level since 2009; Scotland was the only part of the UK where firms reported an increase in overseas trade, while the biggest declines were in Wales, London and Northern Ireland.
John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Driving export growth is key to reducing the UK’s deficit and maintaining our global competitiveness.
“These figures make it clear that the UK’s export drive is at risk of going into reverse gear, precisely at the time when it needs to be moving forward.
“Success in export is all about having the right market information, and the right fundamentals – access to finance, a skilled workforce and good infrastructure connections.”