Nicola Sturgeon urged to ditch indyref2 as Scots-UK trade rises

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Trade between Scotland and the rest of the UK is three times as lucrative as exports to the rest of the EU, official figures today showed.

It has prompted fresh UK Government calls for Nicola Sturgeon to ditch plans to stage a second referendum on Scottish independence.

David Mundell has called for referendum to be taken off the table

David Mundell has called for referendum to be taken off the table

Scots exports to the EU have increased over the past year to hit £14.9bn - an increase of 13.3%, according to the Scottish Government statistics.

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The hike was the driving factor in a 6.2% hike in global exports to £32bn.

But the rest of UK remains Scotland's key trade partner with exports heading south of the border up 4.6% to £48.9bn.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “The Scottish Government’s own figures show that our trade with the UK is now worth £34 billion more than our trade with all 27 EU countries combined.

“It is absolutely essential for Scotland’s economy that trade within our UK internal market continues unimpeded.

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“Almost every day we hear fresh threats from the First Minister to call a second independence referendum yet these figures show the Union is vitally important for jobs, businesses and prosperity across Scotland.

“We will not allow the First Minister to put those at risk.”

Ms Sturgeon has pledged to set out her timetable for a second referendum in the coming weeks.