Revised Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures reveal that the UK is half a trillion - £490,000 million, or £490 billion - poorer than previously thought, weakening its negotiating position in Brexit talks.
The revision of UK national accounts, the ONS "Blue Book", shows that the UK no longer has a net reserve of foreign assets, and therefore no safety margin while talks with the European Union reach a critical point.
The half a trillion pounds that has gone missing is equivalent to a quarter of UK national income.
The stock of wealth has dropped from a surplus of £469 billion to a net deficit of £22 billion.
Meanwhile, investment in the UK by overseas companies and individuals fell from a £120 billion surplus in the first half of 2016 to a £25 billion deficit over the same period in 2017.
Commenting, Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
"Cash outflows from the UK began in mid-August. Clearly, investors are becoming increasingly worried at the likely outcome of Brexit negotiations.
“What do such sums mean? Well, the Budget for NHS Ayrshire & Arran, which employs 10,500 people is £669 million this year. The sum of £490 billion is more than 700 times that!”
The figures come just ahead of Chancellor Philip Hammond MP’s November Budget. The Chancellor is under pressure to show how the UK country would cope if we left the European Union without a deal.