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28 January, 2019 - 09:50 By Kate Sweeney

CBI fears £17 billion a year backlash for region from no-deal Brexit

The long-term economic impact of a ‘no deal’ Brexit on the East of England has been laid bare in fresh analysis of government figures by the CBI which fears a nuclear winter unless MPs put nation before party politics.

The study reveals how the region – a major exporter to EU markets – could be among the areas significantly exposed to the economic fallout from leaving the EU without a deal with an estimated annual loss of output worth £17 billion by 2034.

Such a significant shortfall would hit people’s jobs, livelihoods and living standards. This figure is double the annual public spending on education, including all schools and colleges, in the East of England.

With 53 per cent of the East of England’s goods exports going to the EU, any increased trade friction, added costs or delays would hit the region particularly hard. Additionally, the region has many businesses likely to be affected by ‘non-tariff barrier’ costs in the event of ‘no deal’, stemming from increased restrictions on the ability for people to move around Europe on business.

Richard Tunnicliffe, regional director for CBI East of England, said: “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.

“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. 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.

“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.”

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