OFFICIAL figures showing UK exports fell by more than £1 billion in August once again highlight the “devastating impact” of the Tory government’s Brexit deal, the SNP have said.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that exports fell by £1.3bn from July to August 2021.

This, the ONS says, was “because of a £0.6 billion (4.3%) fall in exports to the EU, and a £0.7 billion (5.0%) fall in exports to non-EU countries”.

The ONS also offered comparisons of August 2021’s exports compared to the previous year and to 2018. This, it said, provides “comparisons of trade with our most recent ‘stable’ period” when neither Brexit nor the Covid pandemic was a factor.

Compared to August 2020, this year saw a rise in export value of £0.9bn (3.6%). However, compared to the stability of 2018, UK exports are down by £3.8bn (12.8%).

READ MORE: UK only EU trading partner to see exports fall, data reveals

Commenting on the figures, the SNP’s shadow international trade secretary, Drew Hendry MP, said the long-term impacts of the Brexit deal were not the “teething problems” the Tories had initially claimed.

Hendry said: “Despite the UK Government insisting that issues surrounding trade are nothing more than ‘teething problems’, it is becoming increasingly clear that these issues are here to stay.

“The SNP time and time again warned Boris Johnson and his band of Brexiteers about the dangers of this deal but were continuously ignored. We are now witnessing the devastating impact of ignoring those calls.

“It is downright shameful that Scottish businesses, industries and consumers are paying the price for a Brexit deal it did not vote for – not to mention the constant broken promises from Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and the rest of the UK Cabinet Office.

The National: Prime Minister Boris Johnson pictured after signing the Brexit deal last December Picture: Leon Neal/ Getty Images

“The SNP, alongside industry leaders across the UK, have been calling on urgent action to tackle the ongoing trade issues – as businesses continue to lose millions of pounds.

“Thankfully though, there is a way out for Scotland; we do not need to continue down this path. By choosing independence, we can protect ourselves from the long-term damage of a Tory Brexit deal that we did not vote for, secure a strong, equal, and fair recovery from the pandemic – and regain the economic and trading benefits of EU membership.”

The news comes after James Withers, the head of Scotland Food and Drink (SF&D), warned that the supply chain issues facing the UK were pushing towards a “serious crisis”.

He said that the solutions to the crisis were on the table, but that a “dogmatic” UK Government was standing in the way.

Downing Street has been contacted for comment.