Brexit will hit southern United Kingdom cities hardest

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 28, 2017

But despite the expected shocks, the report also argued that the most-affected cities are also best-placed to respond to economic wobbles ahead.

The report said economically vibrant cities in the south of England which would be most affected with Aberdeen and Edinburgh being exceptions that proved the rule.

The economic impact will be nearly twice as big in the event of a "hard" Brexit, which the research predicts will bring an average 2.3 per cent reduction in economic output across all United Kingdom cities - compared to a "soft" Brexit, which will result in a 1.2 per cent decrease.

All cities in the United Kingdom are looking set to see a fall in economic output regardless of whether a "hard" or "soft" Brexit is delivered, experts have today warned - but more prosperous regions will be hit harder than others.

The report considers the impact both a soft and hard Brexit might have on British cities in the 10 years following new trade arrangements with the European Union being implemented.

"Contrary to much of the received wisdom on Brexit, it is the most prosperous United Kingdom cities which will be hit hardest by the downturn ahead - but poorer places across the North and Midlands will find it tougher to adapt", he said.

"First and foremost, the government should do all it can to minimise the coming economic shocks by securing the best possible trade deal with the EU".

The places least directly affected by either form of Brexit are mostly less prosperous places in the North, Midlands and Wales, according to the Centre for Cities and the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP).

Mr Rennie said: "This report shows that a Brexit, whether soft, hard or even multi-coloured will have a significant negative impact on major cities across Scotland".

Reading, London and Edinburgh have the largest high-skilled service sectors in the UK. "It is a one-sector town and that sector and the businesses that serve the oil industry will all be knocked after Brexit".

In joint seventh place, with a predicted drop in economic output of 2.6%, come London, Aldershot, Leeds and Ipswitch.

The difference in urban areas' ability to adapt could exacerbate existing inequality, researchers found, drawing parallels with the 2008 financial crisis, in which London and south-east England were hit hardest but recovered more strongly than other areas. Meanwhile, the town's white British population has decreased substantially since 2000. These cities have low numbers of high-skilled workers and smaller knowledge-intensive private sectors. Meanwhile, the local Conservative council has implemented £20 million-worth of cuts. But these global companies will need to secure favourable trading agreements to continue to employ so many in Swindon. These regions are often dubbed the UK's "left behind" places and credited with driving the vote to leave the EU.

But it also noted that Worthing was the second highest city in the United Kingdom for exports per job in the country, making it particularly vulnerable to Brexit and tariff changes.

Edinburgh will also among the cities hardest hit when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

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