May 25, 2016

Brexit could cost over 800,000 jobs, says UK government

The UK could lose 820,000 jobs in two years if it votes to leave the EU next month, according to analysis published by the British government.

Wages could also fall by 4%, according to the report, while GDP could be 6% lower than it would be if the UK remained a member of the EU, meaning the country would lapse back into economic recession.

The estimates are based on a scenario in which the UK leaves the European single market entirely. A different scenario, where the UK leaves the EU but negotiates a bilateral trade agreement, would mean a smaller loss to GDP of 3.6% and 520,000 fewer jobs.

Brexit supporters have claimed the government’s estimates are too pessimistic and ignore the benefits of leaving the EU.

Meanwhile, a separate study published today by the Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that leaving the EU would mean a loss to the UK’s public finances of between £20 billion and £40 billion by 2020, with a likely reduction in public spending.

The UK will hold a referendum on its membership of the EU on June 23, when voters will answer the question: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

On June 20, three days before the vote, IZA World of Labor and the Bloomsbury Institute will be hosting a debate on the labor market implications of Brexit at the Bloomsbury Publishing offices in central London. The panel will include L. Alan Winters (University of Sussex), Jonathan Portes (National Institute of Economic and Social Research), Allie Renison (Institute of Directors), and Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, and will be moderated by Economist columnist Philip Coggan.

For more information, and to book tickets, visit our Eventbrite page.