'Double-whammy hit' to Yorkshire economy in no-deal Brexit, report warns

Yorkshire and the Humber is at risk of a "double-whammy hit" to its economy in the event of a no-deal Brexit, a new report warns.

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 6:45 am
A demonstrator carries a flag as he walks near the Houses of Parliament in central London. Photo: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images

An analysis of regional manufacturing performance by manufacturing group Make UK and business advisory firm BDO LLP highlights the exposure of those regions with a high dependence on exports to the EU.

They are already suffering losses, but are likely to be most at risk from leaving the EU without a deal, said the report.

Yorkshire and Humber, Wales, and the North East have a very high exposure to trade with the EU, so the risks of no-deal are likely to be felt disproportionately by these areas, it warned.

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Stephen Phipson, chief executive of Make UK, said: "Although Brexit stockpiling put manufacturing on steroids for a little while, the industry has since gone almost cold turkey and the overall picture over the last year now shows Brexit, global trade wars and the economic downturn in major markets are menacing UK manufacturers.

"In particular, there are some regions of the UK with a very high exposure to trade with the EU and who are likely to suffer a disproportionate double whammy to their economies and jobs from a damaging no-deal exit."

Tom Lawton, of BDO, added: "The long-term uncertainties around Brexit, minimal progress on the Government's industrial strategy, technological disruption, skills shortages and heightened global competition are all taking their toll on the performance of manufacturers across the UK.

"Companies are already holding back on investment as a result of the prolonged period of Brexit instability and risk lagging behind their global competitors when it comes to the uptake of industry processes and technology.

"It will be difficult for many manufacturers to regain lost ground in these areas particularly as digital transformation picks up pace."