EU Boost to U.K. Services May Fuel Concerns Over Brexit Deal

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(Bloomberg) -- The European Union was the largest contributor to the growth in U.K. services exports in the fourth quarter.

Exports of services rose to 43.3 billion pounds ($62 billion) from 39.3 billion pounds in the third quarter, according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics published Monday. Within the EU, the biggest increases came from Ireland and the Netherlands.

The figures may fuel concerns that Britain ends up with a Brexit deal that does little for services, which account for almost 80 percent of the British economy.

The U.K. and European Union are set to meet to formally discuss their post-Brexit relationship for the first time this week, with the EU so far offering no more than a basic free-trade agreement. Britain is keen to get an accord in the next few months, though the EU says line-by-line formal trade negotiations won’t start until after the U.K. has left in March next year.

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