The North East shouldn’t have to pay the high cost of a hard Brexit

The North East of England is set to lose out economically in the aftermath of both a soft or hard Brexit, new research shows. 

Stockton-on-Tees and North Tyneside are predicted to be the hardest hit and The Chronicle estimates that Newcastle’s economy would shrink by £1.92bn while Sunderland’s economy would shrink by £1.44bn. The total cost the North East would pay as a result of a hard Brexit was estimated at £8bn.

The recent study conducted by the Centre for Economic Performance at London School of Economics shows the impact of the increase in trade barriers associated with Brexit, with all parts of England predicted to be worse off in the aftermath of both a soft and a hard approach to leaving the European Union.

Paul Brannen, Labour MEP for the North East, added:

“If these predictions become reality, it would prove catastrophic for our region. There is already a funding blackhole in the North East, some of which used to be covered by the EU through its social and regional development grants.

“We simply can’t afford to lose these grants as well as another £8bn as a result of the Tory government’s incompetent attempts to negotiate a Brexit deal. It isn’t fair that our region should have to pay the price, not least because we are the poorest English region.”

Jude Kirton-Darling, Labour MEP for the North East, commented:

“We already knew that any type of Brexit was going to have a negative impact on our regional economy, but the reality is even more jarring when the figures are in plain black and white.

“The North East is already worse off due to this government’s complete disinterest in helping our region grow by funding it adequately. The fact that Theresa May is even contemplating the idea of a hard Brexit is outrageous – this just mustn’t be on the cards for the future of our country.”

(Source: Centre for Economic Performance LSE research paper “The Local Economic Effects of Brexit” 2017)

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