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Tourists could be buying British as exports of holiday goods top £302m

Overall trade statistics showed British exports increasing to £547.6 billion last year.

Tourists may be able to buy British as they travel abroad this summer as sunglasses, swimwear and ice creams are among holiday goods that account for hundreds of millions of pounds-worth of UK exports.

Britain exported more than £302 million-worth of summer essentials in 2016, including £160 million worth of sunglasses, £93 million-worth of swimwear and £16 million-worth of ice cream, latest HM Revenue and Customs figures showed.

Flip flops are also popular among companies buying from the UK, with £8 million-worth exported around the world last year.

As millions of Britons joined the summer getaway, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said: “From ice-cream to swimwear, you can find UK holiday exports in travel destinations around the world.

“Last year alone, more than £300 million worth of these goods have been sold to shoppers across the globe showing increasing demand for home-grown summer essentials.”

Overall trade statistics showed British exports increasing to £547.6 billion last year, up 5.8% on 2015, while the UK attracted more foreign direct investments projects in 2016-17 than ever before (2,200).

The Department for International Trade also highlighted figures which could point towards industries that may benefit from free trade deals struck with non-EU countries after Brexit.

Among holiday goods, card games proved popular with £3.7 million of UK playing cards exported to non-EU countries last year, £2.1 million-worth of which went to Australia. Meanwhile, British ice cream accounted for £1.3 million-worth of exports to non-EU countries.

Dr Fox said: “As an international economic department, we are supporting British business to take advantage of the growing global markets after we leave the EU and design a trade relationship in Britain’s national interest. There has never been a better time for our dynamic and innovative businesses to export their goods and services abroad.”

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