As the referendum on the UK's membership in the European Union draws closer, here's 11 key facts on our relationship with the Continent:
1. The EU will still be the world’s third largest economy in 2025 or about 13% of world GDP
Only the US and China are projected to be larger than the EU economy over the next decade.
(Source: Oxford Economics)
2. …and still be one of the largest markets in the world with a population of around 520mn
The EU is projected to be home to more than half a billion consumers by 2025, compared to 335mn in the US.
3. The EU accounts for 47% of all UK goods exports or £134bn
The EU is the UK’s single largest export market for manufactured goods, with almost half of all exports making their way across the English Channel.
4. The type of products the UK exports are more suited to developed economies
The trade complementarity index shows that the products the EU imports best match the type of products the UK exports at 65%, compared to 62% for the US, 56% for Brazil, and 46% for China and India.
5. 70% of all petroleum and petroleum products exports go to the EU
The EU absorbs the majority of petroleum exports from the North Sea, a vital source of output and jobs in the UK economy
6. The UK sold £10bn worth of cars to the EU in 2015
The automotive industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the UK, having grown by a total 76% or 10% per year since 2009.
7. 54% of all UK chemicals exports – one the UK’s highest productivity sectors – travel to the EU
At £77 output per hour, chemicals are a high-productivity sector – not least because of its export-intensity – where more than half of its export sales go to the EU.
8. It’s not just about exports - 57% of total UK goods imports are sourced from the EU
The import of components and materials from the close-proximity EU market is vital to UK manufacturing supply chains.
9. The EU accounts for 54% of world FDI into the UK manufacturing sector
EU companies invested £112bn in UK manufacturing in 2014, more than twice that of companies from the US.
10. The EU provides access to important EU funding streams
As of June 2015, UK companies are set to receive 15% of the total funds from the Horizon 2020 dedicated SME instrument. UK companies are amongst the most successful participants.
(Source: European Commission)
11. 20% of all R&D expenditure in the UK, or £3.3bn, was from EU-owned companies in 2014
The EU is an important source of funding for innovation in the UK, helping to develop new products and bring them to market.