Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP has today said that an exit from Brexit will save Scottish cities after a new study published today showed that Scottish cities will be hit hard by the likely downturn in trade after the UK leaves the EU, regardless of a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit.
The study published today by the think tank Centre for Cities and the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at LSE analyses for the first time the potential impact of both a ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ Brexit on British cities in the ten years following the implementation of new trade arrangements with the EU. Aberdeen is shown to be the city that will be negatively impacted the most in the UK with the Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee being within the top 50 regardless of a soft or hard Brexit.
The research also shows that all British cities are set to see a fall in economic output as a result of leaving the EU, because of the predicted increase in trade costs that both a ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ Brexit will bring. The economic impact will be almost twice as big in the event of a ‘hard’ Brexit, which the research predicts will bring an average 2.3% reduction in economic output across all UK cities – compared to a ‘soft’ Brexit, which will result in a 1.2% decrease.
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. With both the Scottish and UK economy in a fragile state we need to build that strength not take it away. Scotland’s biggest cities are shown here to be hit hard by any type of Brexit and the UK Government cannot just waive these numbers away.
“People last year did not vote to make themselves poorer. The question on the ballot paper was not whether we wanted to destroy our economy and the prosperity of our cities. Giving the people a chance to exit from Brexit with a vote on the deal is the right and democratic thing to do.”