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Brexit Costs us £750 Million a Week. Let's Spend it on the NHS Instead
A new estimate puts the cost of Brexit to the UK at around £40 billion a year
Brexit is costing the UK around £40 billion a year, according to the latest estimate by the economist John Springford, at the Centre for European Reform.
Springford’s assessment, which is based on comparing the UK’s current economic performance with that of other similar nations, found that by the second quarter of 2022, the UK’s economy was 5.5% smaller than it would have been, had the UK remained in the EU.
Meanwhile business investment has fallen by 11% with trade in goods also down 7%.
Overall the hit to the UK economy means that the UK is losing around three quarters of a billion pound a week in tax revenues, that could otherwise have been spent on our public services.
To put that in perspective, £40 billion would enable everyone in the public sector to get an inflation-matching pay rise this year, and still leave billions of additional pounds to spend on schools, hospitals and social care.
Springford’s figure also comes close to the £46 billion of additional taxes announced by Sunak in his March 2022 budget.
Indeed you could argue that if the Conservative Party really is the “party of tax cuts” that it claims to be, then it should now be campaigning for the UK to make an immediate return to the EU.
The Real Cost of Brexit
It is difficult to make precise estimates of the economic impact of Brexit, for the simple reason that we can never know for certain what the UK’s economic performance would have been had we remained in the EU.
It is possible that the real economic hit is less and indeed Springford’s estimate is 1.5 points higher than that made by the Government’s own Office for Budget Responsibility.
However, whatever the precise hit to the economy, it is clear that it has been substantial.
And indeed it is telling that there is not a single credible economist today who is still claiming that Brexit is actually currently benefiting the UK economy.
Of course today’s estimate is based on a comparison between the UK’s current economic outlook and an alternate reality in which we had stayed in the EU.
Trying to estimate the impact of the UK rejoining the EU would likely be harder to make.
However, the sheer scale of the current economic hit from Brexit means that those arguing for the UK to re-enter the Single Market, and the European Union, will find they have an increasingly persuasive economic argument to make.
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