Researchers from the University of Birmingham, City-Redi research institute have found the UK regions, particularly the regions who voted to leave the EU, are much more exposed economically than any other areas of Europe.

In this latest analysis, which is part of a larger research project funded by the ESRC, the researchers accounted for which shares of regional labour income and regional GDP are at risk as a consequence of future Brexit related trade barriers.

Key findings in the regional paper, ‘The continental divide? Economic exposure to Brexit in regions and countries on both sides of The Channel’ include:

  • The UK regions are far more exposed than anywhere else in Europe, with regions in Ireland closely behind
  • The UK regions which voted Leave are more exposed than those which voted Remain
  • The UK is 4.6 times more exposed than the rest of the EU - with the majority of EU countries facing almost no exposure at all - which means that in economic terms the UK is in a very weak bargaining position.
  • Results show that 2.64% of EU GDP is at risk because of Brexit trade related consequences. In the UK, Brexit trade related risks account for 12.2% of UK GDP.
  • The highest levels of regional GDP exposure to Brexit in the UK are found in many of the UK’s non-core regions in the Midlands and in the North of England.

Professor Raquel Ortega-Argilés, University of Birmingham said:

‘Our project analyses the economic impacts of Brexit examining four main issues, namely: (1) the long-term nature of the UK’s post-Brexit trade agreements with both the EU and the WTO; (2) the regional industrial and trading structures; (3) the impacts of Brexit on both the national and regional competitive positioning including that of both the UK and the individual regions’ competitor regions; (4) the changes in local development policy and governance settings induced by leaving the EU.’

For interview enquiries, please contact Rebecca Hume, Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0)121 414 9041.
For out of hours media enquiries, please call: +44 (0) 7789 921 165

The full paper is available here.

A video can be viewed here

These results are part of a much bigger research project funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council looking at the Economic Consequences of Brexit on the UK, its regions, its sectors and its cities. 

This project is part of the umbrella initiative The UK in a Changing Europe. The project is coordinated by City-REDI Institute at the University of Birmingham and involves participation from University of Sheffield, University of Groningen, University of Rotterdam and the PBL Dutch Environmental Agency in the Hague.