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Saturday, August 05, 2017

The price that Wales will pay for voting out?

When Wales voted to leave the EU many felt that we were biting off our nose to spite our face. After all Wales is a net beneficiary of European funds. The EU is also our biggest market. Now the Western Mail has spelt out exactly what we will lose by leaving.

They say that economists from the London School of Economics have calculated that Wales could lose out by £1.1bn if Britain pursues a hard Brexit:

Their research found that every local authority would be negatively affected under either scenario but concluded that the economic impact of leaving the single market and customs union would be around twice as severe as a milder Brexit.

The academics said they were surprised that the additional cost of a hard Brexit was significantly higher in some areas than others – and cited the nature of industry and employment in those areas as the reason.

Across the UK, the worst affected authority by a hard Brexit would be the City of London which they estimated would lose around 4.3% of its Gross Value Added (GVA) - a measure of economic activity.

Areas that were most likely to vote remain are those that are predicted to be worst hit by either form of Brexit all across the UK.

In Wales, Cardiff would be the worst affected authority by either form of Brexit and would face a 1.3% hit by a soft Brexit or a 2.5% hit from a hard Brexit.

That is equivalent to stripping £117.21m out of the economy or £225.40m in the hard Brexit scenario favoured by Prime Minister Theresa May.

In total, based on 2015 GVA figures, Wales would take an annual economic hit of £627m from a soft Brexit or £1.1bn from a hard Brexit.

My own local authority area of Swansea could lose £49.53m off it GVA through a soft Brexit and £90.06m if it were a hard Brexit, a fall of 2%. In neighbouring Neath Port Talbot, which voted overwhelmingly to leave, the figures are a loss of £21.42m on a soft Brexit and a loss of £29.99m on a hard Brexit.

That is a lot of jobs at stake, underlining once more the case for a referendum on the outcome of negotiations. People have the right to change their mind if what is negotiated does not meet their expectations especially given the lies that were fed to us by the Leave campaign.
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