HC Deb 24 November 1983 vol 49 c290W
24. Mr. Michael Brown

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how the abolition of exchange controls has affected the United Kingdom balance of payments position.

Mr. Ian Stewart

The abolition of exchange controls will undoubtedly have affected the composition of the capital account, allowing net capital flows to take the form likely to secure the highest return for the nation. It will also probably have caused the exchange rate to be lower and the current account surplus higher than they otherwise would have been. It contributed in both ways to the fourfold improvement in the nation's net external assets from £10 billion in 1978 to £42 billion in 1982.