World Economy

Brexit Will Damage UK Growth

Brexit Will Damage UK GrowthBrexit Will Damage UK Growth

Nearly nine out of 10 economists believe an exit from the European Union will have negative consequences for the UK economy, a new poll has revealed.

Gross domestic product and household incomes are both likely to be hit in the event of a Brexit, found the survey, which was carried out by Ipsos Mori for the Observer, IBTimes reported.

Around two-thirds of the 639 economists polled also say an EU exit will raise unemployment and heighten the risk of a "serious negative shock" to the British economy in the next five years.

Only 5% believe a Brexit will lead to positive economic growth, the survey showed.

It was compiled by interviewing members of the Royal Economic Society and the Society of Business Economists.

An overwhelming 88% think a Leave result in the June 23 referendum will lower Britain's economic output, driven mainly by loss of access to the single market, increased uncertainty and reduced investment.

Unaffordable Risk


Prime Minister David Cameron said the results "settled" the debate on the economic consequences of a Brexit.

"This poll confirms the overwhelming view of economists–leaving the EU would damage our economy, costing jobs and increasing prices. We are stronger, safer and better off in the EU," he was quoted as saying by Press Association.

Some 61% of economists believe a Brexit will drive the UK unemployment rate higher over the next five years, while 82% say it will lower household incomes.

Britain Stronger in Europe campaign director Will Straw told PA: "This is the final nail in the coffin of the Leave campaign's economic credibility. It is becoming clear that leaving is a risk we simply cannot afford to take."

Cameron pledged to hold an in-out referendum on June 23 after negotiating a new deal with European counterparts to give the UK "special status" within the EU.

He has cautioned against a Brexit, saying it could lead to economic uncertainty and financial pain. However, supporters of the Leave campaign dispute this.

Appeal to Labor Supporters  

Britain's former prime minister, Tony Blair, has weighed in on the debate over Brexit, warning that leaving the European Union would hit living standards and hit the poorest in society most. He appears to make an appeal to Labor supporters–seen as an important swing demographic in the vote–in two interventions.

While Blair is a divisive, and even simply unpopular, figure in the modern Labor Party, there are hopes that he is still seen as a political “big beast” and carries major clout.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show this morning, Blair said that the vote on June 23 “is probably the most important decision we’re going to make since World War Two”.

He laid into the Out campaigns, saying they were determined on making the debate about immigration because the economic case for staying in has already been settled.

His comments come as Vote Leave chiefs sent an open letter to David Cameron, accusing the Tory leader of “corroding public trust” on immigration.

“These people are focusing on immigration because on the economy it is now clear that we will suffer a deep aftershock if we leave the European Union,” Blair said.

He added: “We have got over four decades these interlocking economic relationships, you break that up and how can anyone argue that you’re not going to have a problem afterwards, economically?”

On those running the Leave campaign, he said: “These people say they care about people’s living standards and the poorest members of our society: those are the people who are going to suffer.”