Through fresh analysis of government figures, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) have laid bare the devastating long-term economic impact of a ‘no deal’ Brexit on the East of England.

The study reveals how the East of England could be among the regions significantly exposed to the economic fallout from leaving the EU without a deal with an estimated annual loss of output worth £17 billion* by 2034. Such a significant shortfall would hit people’s jobs, livelihoods and living standards. This figure is double the annual public spending on education, including all schools and colleges, in the East of England.

With 53% of the East of England’s goods exports going to the EU, any increased trade friction, added costs or delays would hit the region particularly hard. Additionally, the region has many businesses likely to be affected by ‘non-tariff barrier’ costs in the event of ‘no deal’, stemming from increased restrictions on the ability for people to move around Europe on business.

Robert Parker, Chief Executive Officer at East of England employer Beechwood Homes, said: “A ‘no deal’ Brexit would severely impact our housebuilding business. Given most of our supplies come from Europe, tariffs and delays at the border could lead to us to suspend operations almost overnight.

“This, coupled with the severe downturn in confidence in the wider economy, could put this company, which has been operating for more than 50 years, out of business, leading to local job losses and less taxes to the exchequer to pay for our vital public services.”

Richard Tunnicliffe, Regional Director for CBI East of England, said: “CBI members across the region are clear: if the new approach to finding a Brexit deal continues to be a game of who blinks first, the East of England economy will pay the price.

“The deadlock will only be broken by a genuine attempt by all MPs to find consensus and compromise, not stick to rusting red lines and political conditions. Like the rest of the UK, the East of England is not – and cannot be – ready for no deal. The projected impact on our region’s economy would be devastating and while business will do all it can to reduce some of the worst aspects, a no deal scenario is unmanageable. 

“The message from the CBI to our politicians is clear – we must see compromise or the whole country faces the unforgivable prospect of a disorderly Brexit which will affect jobs and livelihoods in the East of England for decades to come. It’s time to put our region’s prosperity before party politics and dogma.”

Read the CBI analysis

*If the UK fails to secure a deal with the EU, by 2034 real GVA – the measure of value of goods and services produced in the region - could be nearly 10% lower than under the UK’s current arrangements with the EU according to government analysis. The CBI calculates this could amount to an annual loss of output worth £17bn by 2034 (in today’s prices). 

About the CBI: Across the UK, the CBI speaks on behalf of 190,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors. The CBI’s corporate members together employ nearly 7 million people, about one third of private sector-employees.