ESSEX: Four districts “clear losers” from Brexit
PUBLISHED: 11:00 27 July 2020
Four Essex districts are “clear losers” from the Brexit vote, new research has suggested.
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Uttlesford, Southend, Rochford and Castle Point have all been performing worse financially after 2016 than models predicted Brexit had not happened, research from the University of Warwick has found. In Castle Point 72.7 percent of the electorate voted to leave, one of the highest leave votes in the country. Rochford voted 66.6 percent to leave. However, another four districts, namely Basildon, Brentwood, Chelmsford and Colchester have also performed worse than what otherwise would have been predicted without Brexit. All four voted to leave. Looking at the annual district-level data available up to 2018, the results suggest that among the 14 districts in Essex, eight recorded a 2018 gross value added that is smaller compared to their synthetic control – while six report a higher value for 2018 compared to their synthetic control. Epping Forest is the biggest winner in Essex – with an 18 percent difference in the gross value added compared to what would have been expected without Brexit. Thurrock, which voted 72.3 percent leave, was also categorised as a clear winner. In conclusion the researchers say: “The research confirms existing work that has estimated that by 2018, Brexit has cost the UK economy at least two percent of real output. “We find that these costs are far from evenly distributed across the UK. Within regions, districts whose regional economies depend heavily on manufacturing sector, appear to be particularly severely hit. Similarly, districts with relatively higher shares of residents with low educational attainment appear more exposed. “Lastly, we also find that districts with higher support for Brexit in 2016 appear also more exposed to the Brexit-vote cost to date – this highlights that quite likely, the cost of Brexit may exacerbate the already large regional economic disparities across regions in the UK.
“This is particularly concerning as growing economic inequalities may further accelerate a trend that may result in the political disintegration of the United Kingdom.”
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