UK exports are at their strongest position since 2000 despite threats posed by Brexit, a report by Heathrow Airport and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has found.
Heathrow's export climate index tracks factors including the consumer confidence of the UK's main trade partners by their share of UK exports; effective exchange rate and purchasing managers index for UK new manufacturing export orders.
In figures that will bolster Brexiteers, the value of non-EU export goods increased by 150 per cent, with Heathrow holding a 30 per cent share in this cargo.
Some £48.9bn worth of UK exports that were destined for outside the EU and Switzerland passed through Heathrow.
Consumer confidence among the UK's trading partner nations is on the up thanks to government spending drives in the US and China which continue to enjoy steady growth. The impact of rising oil prices and the increase in the value of the pound in the last three months of 2017 was also cancelled out by UK producers’ confidence in future trade.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Now more than ever, the UK needs to secure its status as an outward-looking global trading nation. It is clear that Heathrow is essential to trade outside the EU, but as we continue to operate at capacity, we will jeopardise new routes and trade with the rest of the world.
"True transformative change to our flight network – and consequently the UK’s export climate – will only be achieved through the our expansion so we can connect all corners of the UK to the growing markets of the world.”