The UK Statistics Authority has once again been forced to reprimand the Conservative party for making false claims with data.

This time we’d seen Michael Gove claiming that the UK had gotten over £800 billion worth of new trade since 2016 due to securing new free trade deals post-Brexit.

The thing is the £800 billion figure reflects total trade with these countries since 2016, not new trade. And for the vast majority of countries concerned the equivalent of these trade deals existed long before 2016; the terms and conditions were just rolled over post-Brexit, making it entirely misleading to imply that they caused new trade.

Even were this not to be the case, one cannot attribute all trade with a country to having a free trade agreement with them. As a country, the US is one of the UK’s top trade partners by value, despite us being nowhere near close to forming a free trade agreement with them.