‘No deal’ Brexit ‘will cost East of England economy £17bn a year’
PUBLISHED: 00:10 22 January 2019
The East of England is set to count the cost of a ‘no deal’ Brexit in billions of pounds, according to analysis by business lobby group the CBI.
People’s jobs, livelihoods and living standards would be hit, it has warned, as the fallout from an estimated annual loss of output worth £17bn by 2034 takes its toll.
A CBI study analysing government data suggests the east could be among the regions which are significantly exposed to the economic fallout from leaving the EU with no deal.
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The £17bn shortfall is double the annual public spending on education, including all schools and colleges, in the East of England.
With 53% of the East of England’s goods exports going to the European Union, any increased trade friction, added costs or delays would hit the region particularly hard, the business body said.
Many of the region’s firms are likely to be affected by ‘non-tariff barrier’ costs in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, resulting from increased restrictions on people’s ability to move around Europe on business, it added.
Richard Tunnicliffe, regional director for CBI East of England, warned of the consequences for the region if ‘no deal’ is allowed to happen.
“CBI members across the region are clear: if the new approach to finding a Brexit deal continues to be a game of who blinks first, the East of England economy will pay the price,” he said.
“The deadlock will only be broken by a genuine attempt by all MPs to find consensus and compromise, not stick to rusting red lines and political conditions.
“Like the rest of the UK, the East of England is not – and cannot be – ready for no deal.”
Prime minister Theresa May continues to face pressure to take ‘no deal’ off the table.
“The projected impact on our region’s economy would be devastating and while business will do all it can to reduce some of the worst aspects, a no deal scenario is unmanageable,” said Mr Tunnicliffe.
“The message from the CBI to our politicians is clear – we must see compromise or the whole country faces the unforgivable prospect of a disorderly Brexit which will affect jobs and livelihoods in the East of England for decades to come.
“It’s time to put our region’s prosperity before party politics and dogma.”