Yorkshire will be more exposed to a failure to secure frictionless trade deals with European Union member states than the rest of the UK, it is claimed today.
A report published today by the Centre for Cities think tank shows the imposition of tariffs on trade with EU nations would effect 52 per cent of the exports of Yorkshire’s urban areas, as compared with 45 per cent nationally.
As a member state, the UK currently sees no tariffs on the goods and services it supplies to the EU, something the Centre for Cities insists must continue when we leave the trading bloc.
The value of exports to the region’s urban areas currently stands at £8.2bn, translating as £4,636 for every worker.
York is set to be the city most impacted by any imposition of tariffs, with 63 per cent of the good and services it exports being sold into EU nations. It is closely followed by Wakefield on 62 per cent and Barnsley on 59 per cent.
Elsewhere Bradford, Sheffield, Doncaster and Hull all export more than half of their wares into the EU, a statistic shared with one third of all British cities. Leeds is the least exposed with 44 per cent.
The Centre for Cities chief executive Andrew Carter told The Yorkshire Post: “What we send from Britain into the EU is not goods or services which are competing at a low cost base. We operate in the higher value space.
“Looking ahead to the future relationship, policy makers should work to ensure that EU trade in both goods and services is as frictionless as possible, while also retaining the ability of businesses to access global talent.
“A failure to do this could limit the economic prosperity of many of Yorkshire’s cities and the millions of people living and working in them.”
Outside of the EU, the United States is Yorkshire’s largest trading partner accounting for 15 per cent of exports.
The warning comes after Prime Minister Theresa May insisted that a compromise on Brexit with Labour could still be reached.
Mrs May has now tried and failed three times to get her Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament and has spent the last few weeks trying to reach a compromise with the opposition.