Raymond Doherty 17 Oct 2019 12:08pm

Economy 2.9% smaller due to Brexit uncertainty

Brexit disruption has left the UK economy 2.9% smaller than it would have been if it had voted to stay, according to new research

Think tank the Centre for European Reform (CER) compared official UK data to a model that shows how the economy would have performed if Britain had stayed in the EU.

It found that if the UK had voted to remain the European Union its economy would have been 2.9% bigger by Q2 2019. CER found that the business investment has taken the biggest hit as well as exports.

John Springford, CER deputy director said, “All credible forecasts of the cost of Brexit, if it finally happens, are that there will be a further hit to the UK economy, as barriers to trade, migration and investment are erected with Britain’s largest trade partner.

“But even before the UK has left the EU, the economic impact of the decision to leave has been large. So far, the main claim made by Brexiters in the referendum campaign – that Britain could regain sovereignty without damaging its economy – has proven to be false.”

Separate research published today by Begbies Traynor revealed that there are now 40% more UK businesses in financial distress since the 2016 EU.

The number of businesses in significant distress is now 489,000 – an increase of 22,000 year-on-year and a rise of 139,000 since the referendum. The real estate and property, construction, retail and travel sectors are the most severely affected.