Sheffield’s economy to be hard hit by Brexit, report claims

Northern cities like Sheffield, Leeds and Newcastle are expected to be among those hardest hit by Brexit, a new report claims.

A study by The Institute for Public Policy Research North found that Brexit is likely to have twice the impact on the economy in the north of England than it will on London.

Economically, cities in the north of England stand to lose much more than London, as they depend more heavily on trade with the EU.

Another report by the London School of Economics’ Centre for Cities found that more than 10% per cent of the north’s economy is dependent on trade with the EU.

Similarly, the average ‘core city’ – those outside London – sends around 50 per cent of its exports to the EU.

In contrast, more than 62 per cent of Newcastle’s exports, and almost 60 per cent of Manchester and Liverpool’s, go to the EU.

As for Sheffield, almost 55 per cent of the Steel City’s exports go to EU partners.

The Centre for Cities predicts that all local authorities will be negatively affected by Brexit, but those in cities will be hit harder those in non-urban areas.

The think-tank believes that all local authorities will see a reduction in gross value added (GVA) after March 2019, especially if ‘hard Brexit’ conditions prevail, as tariffs and trade costs are likely to increase.

GVA is the total value of a region’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), which is the total market value of all goods and services a country produces.

In a soft Brexit scenario, according to the LSE, Sheffield stands to lose 1.2 per cent in GVA.

And in a hard Brexit scenario, the Steel City’s GVA is set to shrink 2.1 per cent.

Other cities may fare worse, however, such as Leeds, which the LSE predicts will lose 2.6 per cent in GVA, and Manchester and Liverpool will lose 2.4 per cent each.

The figures are only predictions, but the consensus among local councils is that they realistic estimates.

A survey by the New Local Government Network (NLGN) found that 61 per cent of council leaders believe Brexit will have a ‘negative’ or ‘very negative’ impact on their region’s economy, whereas only 12 per cent believe it will have a ‘positive’ impact.