‘Ordinary working people’ will be the hardest hit by a bungled Brexit, says Hartlepool’s MP.
Mike Hill was speaking as a new report singled out the North East as one of the places in the UK likely to be worst hit by a ‘hard’ Brexit.
Reports like this make it very clear that if the Government get it wrong, the hardest hit will be ordinary working people.Mike Hill
Progressive policy think tank IPPR says regions of the UK outside London will experience greater impact from price rises than the capital, and identifies the areas it says are particularly vulnerable because of their reliance on EU trade.
“Wales and the North East are the regions with the highest EU goods exports relative to the size of their economies, putting them at greater risk of an adverse economic impact from trade barriers in goods,” it says.
Mr Hill said the report underlined the importance of getting a good deal with the EU.
“This is not the first report to predict a negative effect on the region from a hard Brexit, and only recently business leaders in the North East and across the UK have been voicing their concerns and seeking clarity over our future trade and manufacturing position,” he said.
“The recent TATA Steel/Thyssenkrupp merger is excellent news for the future of pipe production and longevity of jobs in Hartlepool, but such investment is a rare thing at the moment as businesses are becoming increasingly reluctant to invest in the UK as a consequence of the uncertainties of Brexit.
“That is why we need to get our house in order on leaving the EU and have a properly structured, less chaotic and politically-motivated approach in which there are protections for our jobs and industries and for our economy.
“Reports like this make it very clear that if the Government get it wrong, the hardest hit will be ordinary working people.”
The IPPR says regions outside London are likely to see the cost of living rise more sharply because of rises in transport costs, which will have a disproportionate impact outside the capital.
Researchers found larger impacts for people outside London, in part because housing costs – expected to be less affected by Brexit – make up a smaller part of their spending, while transport costs, likely to rise more through increased prices of vehicles, make up a larger part.
They estimated a ‘hard’ Brexit, where the UK is forced to fall back on World Trading Organisation rules, would see an average ‘basket’ of goods and services rise in price by 2.7% in London, but between 3% and 3.2% elsewhere.
Author of the report, Marley Morris, said: “Our findings suggest that post-Brexit price rises will squeeze incomes more in parts of the UK outside London.”