Barry Gardiner, Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade, commenting on ONS figures for foreign direct investment involving UK companies said:
“Today’s ONS figures show just what the impact of the uncertainty has been under the Tories with UK companies drawing back overseas investment to prepare for Brexit and economic volatility at home.
Investment overseas by UK companies is now at the lowest levels since the year after the global financial crisis. Yet this is the very time when we need to encourage British companies to embrace international trade.
“These signs of falling investor confidence show the damaging impact of the incoherent policies and political uncertainty on business. Sadly there is no sign that this Tory Government has any plan to turn it around.
“As today’s figures remind us, Europe remains the dominant source for inward and outward UK foreign direct investment and the real acid test will be what impact the Brexit vote has had on investment in 2016. It is clear that British companies are highly dependent on a favourable trading regime with Europe. The government must do more to preserve and promote our relationship with our biggest trading partner, the EU. Businesses at home and abroad urgently need certainty about the Government’s plan for leaving the EU to make investment decisions.”
Notes to editors
1. The Office for National Statistics today released a statistical bulletin covering foreign direct investment involving UK companies for 2015. Full bulletin available here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/balanceofpayments/bulletins/foreigndirectinvestmentinvolvingukcompanies/2015
2. The ONS found the UK’s international investment position abroad fell from £1,078.7 billion in 2014 to £1,052.1 billion in 2015, the lowest level since 2009 (£1,014.4 billion). Net earnings from direct investment abroad by UK companies fell for the fourth consecutive year. Net flows of foreign direct investment abroad were negative in 2015, with a disinvestment of £52.9 billion. The international investment position held by foreign companies in the UK also decreased from £1,013.3 billion in 2014 to £950.3 billion in 2015.
3. Europe remained the top destination for UK investment abroad and the top source for foreign direct investment into the UK, accounting for 50.1% and 56.3% of the totals respectively.