A vivisection of „British Industrial Strengths“

British Media, Government as well as Lobbyists often claim the UK is a leader in „High Tech Industries“ in General, as well as a Leader in Pharmaceutical, Semiconductor, Aerospace and Automotive industries.
This should be put into context by quantification.
Even Industries UK claims strength don’t seem to show an exceptional performance by and large compared to its European peers.

High Tech Exports

Source: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/TX.VAL.TECH.CD?year_high_desc=true

Aerospace Industry


Aircraft, spacecraft & launch vehicles export volume from Europe is 90 billion

Parts Export only 38 billion

The relatively high % on components can’t compensate for the small share of vehicle export, overall UK aerospace export lacks substantially behind both France and Germany.

The main cause of a „strong“ british aerospace industry is internal defense demand, which isn’t facing international competitive pressure.


Pharmaceutical Industry

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/315970/european-pharmaceutical-industry-employees-by-country/

Automotive Industry

Source: http://atlas.cid.harvard.edu/explore/tree_map/export/show/all/8703/2014/

Source: http://atlas.cid.harvard.edu/explore/tree_map/net_export/show/all/8703/2014/

UK high productivity claim

Source: http://time.com/4621185/worker-productivity-countries/