Brexit already having an effect

From: Stephen Hardy, George Close, Robertsbridge

This Monday, the local university, the University of Sussex, published a report on the impact the threat of Brexit has already had on British manufacturers.

Professor Alan Winters of the university’s UK Trade Policy Observatory said that their research had shown that the mere threat of Brexit has already affected British exports and in the event of a no deal exit, Britain’s trade with the rest of the EU will be badly hit.

The survey covers a broad section of UK manufacturing, electrical, catering, plastics, communications and other equipment manufacturers from an alliance of 13 major UK trade bodies.

Some 22 per cent of them have already lost up to 10 per cent of their exports and six per cent have lost between 10 and 30 per cent. Seventy-nine per cent of the businesses are worried about post-Brexit tariff problems and 61 per cent about border delays. Forty per cent said they would experience a shortage of skilled workers if access for EU workers became more difficult.

The report stresses that having a thriving trade within Europe is an essential prerequisite to trading in the rest of the world. It concludes “If we become less competitive in the EU, we will become less competitive in other international markets.”

In my view this is simply underlining the very reason why Germany’s expanded home market within the EU permits it to be super competitive and successful across the world stage. Do we really want deliberately to harm our businesses and hence our own lives by committing the economic suicide of leaving the EU?