§ Mr. Robert Ellis
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what correspondence he has had with the CBI in respect of the trade deficit with the EEC and the proportion it forms of the United Kingdom's total trade deficit.
§ Mr. Shore
My earlier statement to the House on 15th July 1974, namely, that the EEC accounts for one-third of our trade but over the last 18 months has accounted for over half our trade deficit, was incorrect. I inadvertently referred to our total trade deficit when I meant to refer to our trade in non-oil goods. If trade in oil is excluded my earlier statement, based upon statistics up to May of this year, is correct. In any comparison of our trade with the EEC and the world as a whole, it seems to me to be sensible to exclude trade in oil, the value of which has been greatly increased this year, in order to arrive at a reasonable comparison of trading performance.