By Claire Gordon • 07 November 2021 • 15:50
The total combined amount of Boris Johnson’s new post-Brexit trade deals will only have an economic benefit of £3 to £7 per person over the next 15 years. This is according to figures released by the government themselves this week. This small increase is overshadowed by the economic hit of Brexit that currently stands at around £1,250 per person over the next few years.
The boost amounts to around 0.01-0.02 per cent of GDP and less than 50p per person per year. The government estimates the cost of leaving the EU to be around 4% over the same time period. According to analysis commissioned by The Independent from the University of Sussex UK Trade Policy Observatory, the lauded Free Trade Deals “barely scratch the surface of the UK’s challenge to make up the GDP lost by leaving the EU.”
The prime minister, Boris Johnson, has been making much noise around the new deals with non-EU countries, speaking of a “new dawn” and representing global Britain at its best”. However, only two of the dozens of deals struck so far are actually expected to have any measurable economic impact at all.
The Office for Budget Responsibility has official estimates of Brexit losses standing at £1,250 per person in the next few years, which is over 178 times the most optimistic prediction from the trade deal benefits. More information from the analysis shows that the majority of the deals announced by the government are actually replicas of deals they already had as a member of the EU. “They add nothing to UK trade, and, because they are not perfect replicas, actually harm it very slightly,“ wrote top trade economist, Professor L. Alan Winters.
Labour have leapt onto the numbers released and said the government had “gambled” on Britain’s prosperity and lost. The opposition are calling for padding out of the UK’s trade deal with the EU so that the “haemorrhaging of our trade with Europe” will stop.
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