Va-va-boom! Brexit Britain’s manufacturing sector leapfrogs France to become the eighth biggest in the world with a value of £218 billion
- The UK’s manufacturing output was £219bn in 2021 versus France’s £210bn
- China was the world’s biggest manufacturer while the USA was second place
Britain’s manufacturing sector has leapfrogged France to become the eighth biggest in the world, figures showed yesterday.
Trade body Make UK said the latest global data indicated this country’s manufacturing output was worth £218billion in 2021, compared with £210billion for France.
More recent UK figures suggest it continued to grow to £224billion last year, the agency said.
Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said: ‘I’m delighted to see our world-class manufacturing sector back on the up and watch the UK rise up the global rankings.
‘This Government has a clear plan to grow advanced manufacturing in this country.
Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch (pictured) said: ‘I’m delighted to see our world-class manufacturing sector back on the up and watch the UK rise up the global rankings’
‘From Tata’s £4billion gigafactory announcement, to Stellantis investing £100million into Ellesmere Port, or BMW putting £600million into building electric Minis in Oxford – this good news shows our plan is working.
READ MORE: BMW to manufacture next-generation electric Minis in Oxford – fresh boost for Britain’s car industry to secure thousands of jobs
‘We are firmly backing our industries so they have access to the funding, talent and infrastructure they need to take on the world.’
Britain had fallen behind France in 2016 amid suggestions that it was a sign of problems created by the Brexit vote.
Now however Make UK has said that with a redoubled Government commitment to manufacturing – to rival the strategies being rolled out in the US and EU – Britain could aim to match seventh-placed Italy.
But it cautioned that while the improved ranking was ‘encouraging’, it ‘cannot be attributed to any post-Brexit bounce or other specific factor’.
The figures showed that China was the largest manufacturing nation at £3.9trillion ahead of the US with £2trillion.
They were followed by Japan, Germany, South Korea, India and Italy. With the UK in eighth, the top ten was completed by France and Russia.
The figures fail to reflect some major global developments such as Russia being squeezed by sanctions, trade relations between the US and China deteriorating and a multi-billion-pound package of subsidies being rolled out in the States.
Manufacturing accounts for about 9 per cent of Britain’s GDP – dwarfed by the vast services sector that dominates the economy
Manufacturing accounts for about 9 per cent of Britain’s GDP – dwarfed by the vast services sector that dominates the economy.
But its factories and exports remain a potent symbol of the UK’s historic industrial prowess.
Manufacturing accounts for 2.6million jobs with wages on average 9 per cent higher than in the wider economy, Make UK said.
The sector has been struggling as higher interest rates bite. A recent monthly business survey suggested that it shrank in August by its fastest pace since May 2020.
However recent wins include BMW’s £600million announcement.
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