Other EU countries need post-Brexit trade deal more than UK, according to Civitas

Written by Josh May on 23 September 2016 in News

Many EU jobs depend on trade with Britain, according to analysis by the thinktank

EU and UK flags - Image credit: Press Association

Employment in every other EU country relies more on exports to the UK than vice-versa, according to new analysis from Civitas. 

The thinktank found that 3.6 million jobs in Britain depend on trade with the EU, while a total of 5.8 million workers in other EU countries are involved in trade with the Britain.

Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta have fewer jobs in total relying on the trade relationship, but as a proportion of their employment market they are still more dependent than the UK, today’s report said.


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Pro-EU campaigners said it was “vital” that the UK remained a member of the single market and pointed out that when looking at the EU as a whole, the UK was far more reliant (11.45 per cent of British jobs) than vice-versa (3.05 per cent of EU jobs) overall.  

Civitas’s figures are based on working out the value of the exports as a percentage of GDP and then translating that proportion to the labour market.

Justin Protts, the research fellow who conducted the analysis, said: “Based on the potential impact on jobs, each EU country should be aware of the significant economic benefit in terms of jobs stemming from trade with the UK.

“The EU does arguably have to negotiate as a bloc. However, each of the 27 remaining national governments should be negotiating in the interests of those that democratically elected them.”

Labour MP Pat McFadden, who used to be Shadow Europe Minister and is now part of the Open Britain campaign, said the statistics “underline how much is at stake” for the British economy as the Government negotiates its relationship with the single market.

He said: “As the Prime Minister has heard from big employers telling her they rely on the UK’s full access to the single market, she will realise how high the stakes are for the UK economy.

“Falling back onto World Trade Organisation rules or a weak free trade agreement would provide inferior access to what we currently enjoy, damaging the UK economy.

“Again we see that the Leave campaign’s economic argument relies on new trade deals with other countries that are not guaranteed and are years away at best. This is fantasy economics that underlines just how vital it is that Britain stays a member of the EU single market.”

Theresa May has so far refused to be drawn on whether she wants the UK to remain a member of the European Economic Area after Brexit. 

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