Hard Brexit will cost the European Union twice as many jobs as UK

brexit jobs

A hard Brexit could cause twice as many job losses in the EU as in the UK, economists based in Brussels have warned.

City AM reports that up to 1.2m jobs could be lost in the European Union, with up to 526,000 being lost in the UK, researchers from the University of Leuven reveal.

More than 42,000 jobs could be lost in Belgium alone, with the food industry being the sector hardest hit, the economists Hylke Vandenbussche, William Connell and Wouter Simons claimed.

In terms of absolute figures, countries like Germany would be most affected, but in relative terms, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands and Belgium have most to lose, the report said.

A soft Brexit would still lead to some job losses within the EU, but a considerably smaller rate of 284,000, they said. The bloc’s GDP would shrink by 0.38 to 1.54 per cent.

The UK’s GDP could fall by 1.21 per cent to 4.48 per cent.

The report was published ahead of the fourth round of talks which began yesterday.

Chief negotiators David Davis and Michel Barnier urged each other to press forward with talks.

Davis pledged to “work through the detail” of the three key areas – the Irish border, citizens rights and the divorce bill – in a bid to unlock the second phase of discussions, opening up to trade and transition.

Barnier once again stressed the need for “clarity”.

Today sees the launch of a highly anticipated City blueprint for Brexit that sets out a bespoke free trade agreement (FTA) to enable financial services on both sides of the argument to continue working as before once the UK leaves the EU.

Report author Mark Hoban said he was confident the blueprint would mitigate job losses, although he acknowledged that it could not eradicate the risk entirely.