Brexit to cause region's cities to experience economic slowdown

Yorkshire's largest cities are expected to experience a significant slowdown in economic growth in the next year following the UK's decision to leave the EU, with job creation to stagnate.
The EU referundumThe EU referundum
The EU referundum

Joint analysis by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economic & Business Research (Cebr) estimates the GVA and job creation of our biggest cities will be significantly cut as a result of the vote.

It claims that Leeds’s economy is now expected to grow by 0.5 per cent in the 12 months to Q1 2017 - significantly down on the 1.7 per cent growth rate predicted prior to the vote.

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Looking ahead, the analysis found that the economic growth in Leeds will rise to 1.1 per cent towards the start of 2018 - still below the growth predicted before the outcome of the referendum was known.

Sheffield and Hull have seen their predicted growth cut from 1.4 per cent to 0.4 per cent in the 12 months to Q1 2017 with GVA in Bradford expected to fall from 1.3 per cent down to 0.3 per cent. All three of these cities opted for Brexit in last month’s referendum.

Outside of Yorkshire, London’s economy is due to be hit hardest in the short-term with Cebr revising its predictions for growth from 2.4 per cent to 0.4 per cent.

Brighton, Southampton and Portsmouth were the next three cities in the league table of hardship.

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Niall Baker, CEO at Irwin Mitchell’s Business Legal Services division, said: “These forecasts demonstrate the significant challenges faced by many businesses across Yorkshire.

“All of the cities in the region are expected to see growth rates slow significantly and although there are signs of recovery as we move through 2017 into 2018, output is still anticipated to be lower than it would be if the referendum vote had gone the other way.

“These results show that recovery rate of cities differs considerably within the UK and clearly demonstrates that the need for economic rebalancing is stronger than ever.

“Dealing with this current economic uncertainty presents a tough challenge for many businesses and following Brexit there could well be further instability.

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“Although it’s going to take some time to understand the full impact of the referendum result, many organisations are already considering a wide range of legal issues in order to ensure they’re as prepared as they can be for a future when the UK is no longer in the EU.”

Irwin Mitchell produced its first UK Powerhouse report in October 2015. The report predicted a growing economic gap between the South East and the North of England and made nine policy recommendations along with a call for the government to radically rethink how it looks to rebalance the UK’s economy.