As we mark the end of the first year of new trade terms between the UK and EU, the predicted negative impacts of Brexit on the economy and on living standards are becoming clearer.
According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, it has been estimated that the UK economy will be roughly 4 per cent worse off than it would have been had the 2016 EU referendum gone the other way. As of October, the latest month for which data is available, UK imports and exports were 15.7 per cent below the level that could have been expected had the UK not left the EU’s customs union and single market in January. In parallel with this, the ending of freedom of labour has led to much-publicised shortages of lorry drivers, farm labourers and abattoir workers.
Reinforced with the impacts of Covid-19, this has seen UK growth lag behind the US and the eurozone. Gross domestic product in the UK was 3.9 per cent higher in the third quarter of 2021 than in the second quarter of 2016. Over the same period the eurozone produced 6.2 per cent growth and the US 10.6 per cent.
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