Brexit working worry

Sadiq Khan
CONCERN: Sadiq Khan


BREXIT could cost the UK nearly 500,000 jobs in a worst-case scenario, according to a study published last Thursday (11) which was commissioned by the mayor of London.  

Britain could lose 482,000 jobs by 2030 if the country crashes out of the European Union, according to research by Cambridge Econometrics.  

A scenario in which the UK fails to agree a transition deal and future trading relationship with the bloc would also cost Britain £46.7 billion in investment over the same period.  

The report compares four possible post- Brexit scenarios to the option of maintain­ing the status quo – already ruled out by the British government – of staying in the Euro­pean single market and customs union.  

The most optimistic Brexit scenario out­lined, of a two-year transition period leading to single market membership without the customs union, would still lead to a loss of 176,000 jobs and £20.2 billion in investment.  

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who cam­paigned against Brexit, commissioned the study and said the findings show “the po­tential economic risks – and human costs – at stake in the negotiations” in Brussels.  

In a statement the Europhile mayor ac­cused the government of a “complete lack of preparation” in assessing the impact of Brexit, urging ministers to change their ne­gotiating position and agree to remain in the single market and customs union.  

A spokeswoman for the Brexit depart­ment said that the UK and Brussels believe they will “achieve an ambitious deal secur­ing prosperity” for Britain and the bloc, having concluded the first stage of exit talks last month.  

“The UK wants a deep and special part­nership with the European Union, a part­nership that spans a new economic rela­tionship and a new relationship on securi­ty,” the spokeswoman said. Cambridge Econometrics also forecast that the worst-case scenario would lead to the largest drop in immigration, allowing the government to reach its target of under 100,000 arrivals from 2020 onwards but hitting productivity.  

Comparatively, maintaining the status quo would see migration falling from 232,000 in 2020 to 220,000 a decade later.  

Transition arrangements, trade and se­curity will be on the agenda of Brexit nego­tiations later this year before Britain leaves the bloc in March 2019.