‘Hard Brexit’ could leave local economies struggling


imageA ‘hard Brexit’ without special arrangements to support jobs and industries will hit
Britain’s manufacturing centres and poorest localities hardest, research published today
by economic experts My Local Economy reveals.
While attention has focused on how Brexit will affect the high-flying financial industries
of London, negative impacts may be felt all over Britain. My Local Economy’s research
ranks council areas across Britain in terms of economic vulnerability to Brexit, with some
surprising findings.
Areas that may feel the pinch include specialist employment centres such as Tewkesbury
and Stratford-on-Avon, areas that are highly dependent on EU labour including Watford
and Moray, and low income communities where people will be hit hardest by price
inflation, including Blackpool and West Somerset.
Dr Glenn Athey, author of the research and director of My Local Economy, said: ‘We
have had to assume there will be a “hard Brexit” without alternative free trade deals to
replace current EU arrangements because there is no evidence of plans to prevent it.
‘Local business and political leaders need to act now to assess the risks to their localities
and support important local industries. Understanding the risks posed by Brexit and how
best to prevent them is essential if we are to protect jobs and incomes.’
The research, Brexit: Potential impacts for local economies, creates an index of vulnerability
based on official statistical data. The index is visualised in a series of maps created by
Mapden.com. It shows that any economic restructuring following Brexit is likely to be
uneven, with losers as well as gainers spread across the country.
Those most at risk are manufacturing centres like Sunderland that depend on global
supply chains, centres of labour-intensive industries such as agriculture and tourism that
depend on EU migrant workers, and low-income communities that will be vulnerable to
rising inflation resulting from tariff barriers and the depreciation of sterling against other
The report provides advice and recommendations on how localities can plan ahead to
avoid the worst potential impacts of Brexit by investing in market intelligence and skills,
and by continuing to welcome overseas investment and labour.
The tables of the most vulnerable areas are below:
Most vulnerable areas
1 Fylde Chemicals, automotive and transport, dependency on EU labour
2 Barrow-in-Furness Automotive and transport
3 Flintshire Chemicals, automotive and transport, dependency on EU labour
4 Ribble Valley Chemicals, automotive and transport, dependency on EU labour
5 Craven Pharmaceuticals, dependency on EU labour
6 Tower Hamlets Financial services
7 City of London Financial services
8 Stratford-on-Avon Automotive and transport
9 Knowsley Chemicals, automotive and transport
10 Pendle Chemicals, automotive and transport, dependency on EU labour
Most vulnerable areas because of industrial specialisms at risk if hard Brexit
1 Preston
2 North Somerset
3 Chesterfield
4 Blaby
5 Welwyn Hatfield
6 Bracknell Forest
7 Suffolk Coastal
8 Camden
9 Taunton Deane
10 Three Rivers
Most vulnerable areas because of low incomes and inflation
1 Blackpool
2 West Somerset
3 Lincoln
4 Eden
5 Hyndburn
6 Rossendale
7 Thanet
8 Torridge
9 Mansfield
10 Kingston upon Hull, City of

The full report can be accessed at: http://www.mylocaleconomy.org/brexit-potential-impacts-for-local-economies/



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