British service exports reached £100.41bn in 2015, with the European Union by far the biggest market spending £36.9bn. London dominated service exports to the EU, accounting for 42% of the UK's total contribution.

The Commonwealth countries – identified as possible alternatives to the EU market after Brexit – imported only 10% of UK services, worth just over £9.8bn in 2015.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) service exports data for 2015, released on 13 July, services sold to the EU represented 37% of total UK exports. This was followed by the Americas (25%), Asia (18%), the rest of Europe (13%), Africa (5%), and Australasia, Oceania and the rest of the world (2%).

London alone, with its powerful financial hub, exported £15.6bn to the EU and £11.7bn to the Americas. Other regions exporting services largely to the EU were the North East (50%), West Midlands (47%), South East (45%), and Yorkshire and The Humber (40%).

This demonstrates that many regions of the UK are heavily dependent on the EU as their main trading partner .

Service export sectors

The 2015 statistics show that real estate, professional, scientific and technical industries are the major services which the UK exports to the world, generating £35.3bn.

In addition to these, the manufacturing industry has had a good performance, generating £15.3bn in 2015. The North West was the region which performed best with around £3.8bn exported, the majority of which goes to Asia.

The special relationship

The single country which received the most services from the UK was the US, totalling £20.94bn, or 21% of the total world service exports.

All regions of the UK except the North East have the US as the major partner for their exports trade, making the US the single most dominant trade partner of the country.