Those UK regions which voted for Brexit are more exposed economically to the country leaving the EU than anywhere else in Europe. Researchers from the University of Birmingham report that the highest levels of regional GDP exposure to Brexit can be found in many of the UK’s non-core regions in the Midlands and in the North of England.
The research finds that the UK's national level of Brexit exposure is 12.2% of UK GDP and 11.3% of UK labour income. In contrast, the rest of EU faces an exposure to Brexit that is only 2.6% of combined GDP and 2.6% of combined labour income.
“In other words, the Brexit trade-related exposure of the UK economy is 4.6 times greater than that of the rest of the EU,” researchers say.
However, things may be much worse.
The EU has around 40 trade or cooperation agreements in place so the UK will need to negotiate more than 700 new trade agreements, and the analysis has treated these relationships as being unaffected by Brexit.
“Yet, the evidence regarding the likely impacts of no-deal allied with the additional complications related to the UK's non-EU trade relationships suggests that our analysis may not represent an upper bound, and that the actual Brexit-related exposure risks facing the UK and its regions are even greater than those reported here.”