‘No-Deal Brexit cost to Northern Ireland is £5bn by 2034 says CBI

The devasting long-term economic impact of a ‘no deal’ Brexit on Northern Ireland has today (22 Jan) been laid bare in fresh analysis of government figures by the CBI.

Click here to review the full region-by-region analysis

The study reveals how Northern Ireland could be among the areas of the UK most exposed to the economic fallout from leaving the EU without a deal with an estimated annual loss of output worth almost £5 billion1 by 2034.

This figure is more than the annual public spending on hospitals, GP surgeries and other health services in Northern Ireland. Such a significant shortfall would hit people’s jobs, livelihoods and living standards.

Manufacturing activity is particularly important in Northern Ireland, and the agri-food sector, which employs thousands, is likely to be severely impacted as it is particularly exposed to the risk of higher tariffs and trade costs.

With 57% of Northern Irish goods exports going to the EU, any increased trade friction, added costs or delays would hit the region particularly hard.

Angela McGowan, Northern Ireland Director for the CBI, said: “CBI members across Northern Ireland are clear: if the new approach to finding a Brexit deal continues to be a game of who blinks first, the Northern Irish economy will pay the price.

“The deadlock will only be broken by a genuine attempt by all MPs to find consensus and compromise, not stick to rusting red lines and political conditions. Like the rest of the UK, Northern Ireland is not – and cannot be – ready for no deal.

“The projected impact on our economy would be devastating and while business will do all it can to reduce some of the worst aspects, a no deal scenario is unmanageable.

“The message from the CBI to our politicians is clear – we must see compromise or the whole country faces the unforgivable prospect of a disorderly Brexit which will affect jobs and livelihoods in Northern Ireland for decades to come. It’s time to put prosperity before party politics and dogma.”


1If the UK fails to secure a deal with the EU, by 2034 real GVA – the measure of value of goods and services produced in Northern Ireland – could be 9.1% lower than under the UK’s current arrangements with the EU according to government analysis. The CBI calculates this could amount to an annual loss of output worth almost £5bn by 2034 (in today’s prices).

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