Reports fear impact of vote

Jobs warning of post-Brexit impact on economy

joan-mcalpineBritain risks losing thousands of jobs following its withdrawal from the European Union, according to economic research.

Two gloomy estimates of the likely impact of Brexit say that up to 80,000 jobs could be lost in Scotland if there is a ‘hard Brexit’ which would deny Britain access to the single market.

The Fraser of Allander Institute says Scottish GDP could drop by 2% within 10 years, causing the loss of 30,000 jobs. Its most pessimistic model would see GDP fall by 5% within a decade, with 80,000 being removed from the economy.

It bases its forecasts on a series of potential post-Brexit scenarios. These range from an “optimistic” model similar to Norway’s relationship with the EU to a “pessimistic” one based on a so-called “hard Brexit” outside the single market, based on World Trade Organisation rules.

The report cautions that the impact of Brexit on the rest of the UK is greater than it is on Scotland, in terms of GDP, employment and other measures – and Scotland could benefit from workers moving north.

The rest of the UK has greater exposure to EU trade than Scotland. This is expected to cushion the impacts on the Scottish economy and could lead to more migration to Scotland from other parts of the UK, thereby offsetting the impact of the EU exit.

A greater concern is the impact of Brexit on the City of London. TheCityUK says the cost to the UK economy could be as high as £38 billion, with up to 75,000 jobs affected.

Meanwhile, Holyrood’s Europe committee convener Joan McAlpine (pictured) warned there could be a “huge constitutional crisis” if Holyrood was not consulted on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Great Repeal Bill which will reverse the 1972 legislation that took Britian into the European Community.

The SNP MSP said: “Our committee has already found that maintaining access to the single market is key for business and industry in Scotland.

“If the UK government leads us into a ‘hard’ Brexit, the evidence presented in this report [Fraser of Allander] indicates that there could be disastrous consequences for jobs, exports and production.”

The UK government has insisted that relaxing Britain’s ties with the EU will be positive for the economy.

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