Latest News

'No deal' Brexit could cost 1.2 million EU jobs

Friday, October 20, 2017

Print this page Email A Friend!


BRUSSELS, Belgium (AFP) — The European Union could lose 1.2 million jobs if Britain leaves the bloc without a deal, Belgium's economy minister said Friday, warning that his own country would suffer a "catastrophic" impact.

Kris Peeters made the comments amid growing fears that the slow pace of Brexit negotiations means Britain will withdraw in March 2019 without agreement on future trade arrangements and customs.

"The potential impact for our country could well be catastrophic," he said in a statement, adding that without a deal "Britain would no longer be part of a customs union".

"According to our calculations, the customs fees for imports from the United Kingdom and exports to the UK would reach a total of 2.22 billion euros (US$2.62 billion)," he said.

"Under this scenario, Belgium would lose 42,000 jobs, Britain 526,000 and the EU as a whole not less than 1,200,000."

In Belgium, a no-deal Brexit would have "grave consequences" for the Port of Zeebrugge, on the North Sea.

"Traffic to the UK represents 45 per cent of business at the port, 5,000 jobs and an economic value of 500 million euros (US$590 million)," Peeters said, adding that a million new cars are shipped via Zeebrugge to Britain each year.

The warning came as EU leaders during a summit in Brussels approved internal preparations for Brexit trade talks, but said there was insufficient progress on divorce issues to formally open them until at least December.

The Belgian figures show "how important it is to reach a deal", while also demonstrating that "we have to prepare ourselves for the worst-case scenarios," Peeters added.

The figures came from a study by a high-level group set up by the Belgian economy ministry in 2016 to look at the impact of Brexit, he said.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT