EU to lose millions more jobs than UK if Brexit barriers erected

Some 2.2 million more jobs in the European Union are reliant on trade with the UK than the number of British jobs dependent on exports to the EU, according to an analysis by the Civitas think-tank.

EU to lose more jobs than UK following Brexit
The findings suggest that the EU has far more to lose than Britain in terms of employment and trade should tariff barriers be imposed once the UK exits the bloc.According to the Civitas analysis, 5.8 million jobs in the continental EU are tied to trade with the UK, compared to 3.6 million posts in the UK tied to exports to other EU nations.The report, published on Friday, said that 22 of the other 27 EU nations were more reliant for jobs on trade with the UK than the other way round. Only Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta had fewer jobs directly linked to UK trade than vice versa. Civitas said that Germany stood to be the biggest loser with 1.3 million jobs – 3.2 per cent of the workforce – tied to exports to the UK, which, in turn, had a half-million fewer jobs dependent on exports to Germany.Justin Potts, the research fellow at Civitas who conducted the analysis, said, "Each of the remaining EU countries has a higher proportion of their workforce employed in jobs that rely on UK trade than the UK has with that EU country."Based on the potential impact on jobs, each EU country should be aware of the significant economic benefit in terms of jobs stemming from trade with the UK."The EU, overall, has a net of 2.2 million more jobs linked to UK trade and the Eurozone is still struggling with a highly unbalanced economy and fragile recovery following the 2008 crisis. "In addition to that, with the fall in the value of the pound, the UK has an increased competitive advantage which will allow it to do more to help UK business export outside the EU which can help offset exposure to a change in trading terms. The EU does not have such a luxury."The EU does arguably have to negotiate as a bloc. However, each of the 27 remaining national governments should be negotiating in the interests of those that democratically elected them." 

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William Dartmouth, trade spokesman for the UK Independence Party, commented, "The facts are now clear – it is wholly in the economic interest of the EU countries, and especially Germany, to come to a sensible arrangement with the UK on Brexit."However, Pat McFadden, a member of the pro-EU Open Britain campaign, said that the report also showed the large number of UK jobs that would be at risk if trade barriers were erected."Even Leave campaigners admit that if our trade relationship with Europe becomes more distant, with barriers in place, UK jobs would be at risk. These figures also underline how much is at stake for the UK economy in the forthcoming negotiation," he said."As the prime minister has heard from big employers telling her they rely on the UK's full access to the single market, she will realise how high the stakes are for the UK economy. Falling back on to World Trade Organization rules or a weak free trade agreement would provide inferior access than we currently enjoy, damaging the UK economy." Meanwhile, data released by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) on Friday showed that vacancies in England's financial sector fell by more than 10 per cent in the two months following the referendum. London was worst affected over fears that the sector would lose its passporting rights to trade freely throughout the EU in the wake of the Brexit vote. Clare McNeil, IPPR associate director, said, "This new data shows the immediate impact that the vote to leave the European Union appears to be having on the finance sector. As one of our largest sectors, the financial sector is vital to the wider wellbeing of our economy."The prime minister needs to end doubts around whether the government will pursue access to the single market and passporting rights as high priorities in the Brexit negotiations."

For more news and features about the EU referendum, see our Brexit section.

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