As an island nation, the UK depends on maritime trade for its prosperity. 95 per cent of Britain’s economic activity, imports and exports, travels by sea. By protecting the sea-lanes, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines contribute to the stability, economic growth and development of the UK.
Protecting our Economy
As a maritime nation, the UK’s economic prosperity depends on seaborne trade travelling unhindered through a network of international sea lanes. These lanes are the arteries of the global economy. Disruption to, or attack on, maritime trade would have a severe impact on the UK’s economy and the daily life of UK citizens.
The Royal Navy plays a key role in assisting the UK Government to provide safety and security at sea. This responsibility is both domestic (in our home waters) and global (working with international partners) to ensure the security of the world’s sea lanes.
UK waters host a wealth of resources, from fish stocks to energy reserves, all of which are crucial to our economic development. Protecting these resources is an important role for the Royal Navy. Maritime security extends to the safety of those at sea.
• The Sea: The UK is an island with 10,500 miles of coastline, 600 ports, approximately 290 offshore oil and gas installations and a significant fishing industry, we are totally dependent on the sea for our economic prosperity.
• UK Trade: 95 per cent of UK trade by volume (580 million tonnes) goes by sea. In terms of tonnage handled, UK ports are the largest in Europe.
• Energy Security: The UK’s dependency on imported gas is set to rise by 50 per cent by 2012, overseas sources will provide up to 80 per cent of UK energy needs by 2020. Seaborne Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) shipments will be central to future UK energy demand.
• Economic Impact: In total, UK-based shipping contributes £10bn a year to GDP and almost £3bn to tax revenues making it the UK’s fourth largest services sector industry.
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