New report say regional economies are at risk from Brexit deal
The UK is almost five times more exposed than the rest of the EU to negative economic impacts from disruptions to trade caused by Brexit, a new study has found.
Areas like Sunderland, which voted Leave in last year’s referendum are also said to be among the most vulnerable to an economic hit to their incomes and growth rates, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham.
This, they say, puts Britain in “a very weak bargaining position” as talks on the future relationship get under way.
The researchers said their findings show it is “not correct” to argue, as some Brexit-backers do, that Britain’s trade deficit with the rest of the EU gives it an advantage in negotiations, because the remaining 27 nations have more to lose in terms of exports.
Their analysis of trade relationships found a “very different” picture, under which the loss of access to the single market and customs union is “far more damaging” to the UK than the EU.
“The UK and its regions are far more vulnerable to trade-related risks of Brexit than other EU member states and their regions,” said the report by the University’s ‘s City Region Economic and Development Institute (City-Redi), published in academic journal Papers in Regional Science.
“As such, the UK is far more dependent on a relatively seamless and comprehensive free trade deal than the other EU member states.
“The UK’s exposure to Brexit is some 4.6 times greater than that of the rest of EU as a whole, and the UK regions are far more exposed to Brexit risks than regions in other EU countries, except for those in Ireland.
“As such, in all likelihood a deal, whereby the UK’s access to the single market and the customs union is heavily curtailed, are far more damaging for the UK than for the rest of the EU.”