Local economies across the South West would be some of the worst hit in England, if Britain leaves the EU in a Customs Union, according to a new report.
Government and Opposition Ministers are continuing to meet to try and find a possible compromise
over Brexit, with a Customs Union Labour’s preferred option.
The report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) highlights how a Customs Union Brexit that would dramatically impact on the spending decisions of a future Labour or Conservative government, cutting the amount of money available for public services by £13bn a year.
Regionally, the South West would fare particularly badly compared to other parts of England. The local economies of Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Bristol, Bath Dorset and Somerset all among the top ten areas predicted to fare worst in England.
Staying in the EU Customs Union would mean that the UK and the EU would agree not to impose any charges, or tariffs on each other’s goods.
Garry Young, Director of Macromodelling and Forecasting for NIESR, said: “Leaving the EU for a customs union will make it more costly for the UK to trade with a large market on our doorstep, particularly in services which make up 80 per cent of our economy. This inevitably will have economic costs, with widespread implications. We estimate that all regions will be adversely affected and that there will be fewer resources available to pay for public services.”