Study reveals Worthing will suffer from Brexit

Worthing is among the top ten towns that will suffer the most by Britain's exit from Europe, according to a study that overturns assumptions that poorer areas of the UK will suffer the most.

Thursday, 27th July 2017, 3:19 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:52 pm

For the first time, research by the Centre for Cities think-tank and the Centre for Economic Performance at London School of Economics has analysed the likely impact of both hard and soft Brexit in the decade after any trade deal is done with Europe.

The study shows that all British cities are set to see a drop in economic output, regardless of whether the Brexit deal is hard or soft, because of the predicted rise in the costs of trade.

But the economic impact will be almost twice as large in the event of a hard Brexit, which researchers say will bring an average 2.3 per cent reduction in economic output across all UK cities, compared with a 1.2 per cent fall under soft Brexit.

In both scenarios, “economically vibrant” towns and cities predominantly in the south of England will suffer more – as they specialise in the businesses and financial services that could see the biggest downturns.

Centre for Cities has now called for the Government to do all it can to minimise economic shocks by securing the best possible trade deal with the EU and to give cities extra investment and powers to help them weather the storm.

Andrew Carter, the think-tank’s chief executive, said: “All UK cities face significant economic challenges after we leave the EU, but the impact of both hard and soft Brexit will be felt very differently across the country.

”Contrary to much of the received wisdom, it is the most prosperous UK cities which will be hit hardest by the downturn ahead, but poorer places across the North and Midlands will find it tougher to adapt.“

He said the Government must ensure Britain’s post-Brexit trading arrangements are ”as close to our current relationship with Europe as possible“ and it is ”critical“ that Whitehall gives cities across the UK the investment and powers they need to stay competitive.

Worthing, Slough, Swindon and Reading are among the top ten towns that will suffer the most, with a predicted cut of between 1.4 per cent and 2.8 per cent in economic output, according to the study.

On the flip side, the study says Crawley will suffer the least impact overall, with a drop in output of between 0.7 per cent and 1.1 per cent.

Earlier this year, researchers at think-tank Demos said several parts of Britain that voted Leave including Wales, the North East and the East Midlands are among the most vulnerable to the economic impact of Brexit due to their resilience on exports to the EU.

Professor Stephen Machin from the Centre for Economic Performance said: “A hard Brexit would amplify the negative impact of leaving the EU on local economies across the UK.

”The estimated decline in economic activity is higher in richer local economies like London. But Brexit – whether hard or soft – would still hurt economic activity in poorer areas like Hull and Burnley that have some of the lowest incomes in the country.“

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