The “entirely avoidable” Brexit crisis has cost the UK as much as the unpredictable Covid pandemic, it has emerged.
By the end of last year, UK firms have lost more than £250 billion because of Covid lockdowns, according to The Centre for Economics and Business Research.
An equal amount of cash was lost because of Brexit – and the EU departure tally is now rising faster.
Brexit or Covid?
“Brexit or Covid, which has been the heavier burden for them to bear?,” ParcelHero head of consumer research David Jinks told City A.M.
He added: “The shocking answer is that the entirely avoidable Brexit crisis has had as much of an impact on UK businesses as the unforeseeable Covid-19 tragedy, and its costs are still rising.
“No one could have foreseen the arrival of the pandemic and there was little that could have been done to shield UK businesses in advance. However, this is certainly not the case for the impact of Brexit on UK businesses.”
And Jinks said the confrontational attitude during trade negotiations with the EU made a “bad situation worse”
In 2020, before Brexit came into force, a Bloomberg Economics report revealed that it cost the UK businesses by the end of that year an astonoshing £200 billion, and the economy shrinked by three per cent.
Since Brexit happened at the beginning of 2021, UK firms have lost another £44 billion, according to the UK Trade Policy Observatory.
Brexit could end up costing more
Jinks noted a futher £8.1 billion was wasted by the government on Brexit preparations, which he thinks is money that could have been invested in “promoting UK trade across the EU and beyond, not battening down the hatches”.
Although figures show Brexit and pandemic costs each come to about £250 billion, Brexit could end up costing more than the health crisis.
Thomas Sampson, associate professor at the London School of Economics, said: “When measured in terms of their impact on the present value of UK GDP, the Brexit shock is forecast to be two to three times greater than the impact of Covid-19.
Fishermen and farmers
Meanwhile, fishermen and farmers, who voted for Brexit in droves, have expressed discontent over the impact of it in recent months.
The comments came after new fishing rules came into force at the start of 2021, which the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations labelled a “sell out”.
Despite 92 per cent of the UK’s fishing industry voting for Brexit due to promises of “taking back control” of “British waters”, they are now suffering from huge red tape.
And farmers in England will have their direct payments, worth £1.8 billion in 2019-2020 through the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, cut by over half by 2025 and completely taken away in 2027 under new government moves.