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Economic Growth In Leeds Will Struggle To Keep Pace With The South After Brexit Says Study

Government Must Re-Focus Attention On Building On Northern Powerhouse’s Potential

07.05.2019

David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

The UK Government should redouble its efforts to rebalance the economy after a new report has predicted a widening gap between the North and the South East 12 months after the UK’s expected departure from the EU.

The UK Powerhouse study by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), predicts that in 2020 Q4, annual GVA* growth for Leeds will be 1.1%

Milton Keynes, Reading and Oxford will be in the top three for economic growth with no locations in the North in the top 10 with annual growth in all three Southern locations at around 2%.

The forecasts are based on the assumption that an amended version of the Brexit withdrawal agreement will form the basis of the future UK – EU relationship. It also assumes a transitional arrangement will be put in place that allows a continuation of the current relationship without any major disruptions until at least 2021.

There was better news in terms of employment for Leeds with the city appearing in the top five for job creation.

Expert Opinion
“This report paints a mixed picture for Leeds. On one hand it shows that the growth in the South East continues to outpace the North, whilst on the other it points to the huge potential that the city has in terms of job creation.

“Brexit has and will continue to take up a lot of Government time, but it is vital that it refocuses its attention on rebalancing the UK economy and building on the potential within the Northern Powerhouse.”
Paddy Sturman, Partner

Methodology note

All forecasts in this report utilise Cebr’s central scenario. Cebr’s central forecasts are based on the assumption that an amended version of the Brexit withdrawal agreement will form the basis of the future UK – EU relationship. We further assume that a transitional arrangement will be put in place that allows a continuation of the current relationship without any major disruptions until at least 2021. On the immigration policy, we rely on the lower immigration population estimates assuming that a visa system will be implemented for EU nationals, but that the requirements (e.g. the minimum salary, the NHS surcharge payment, the application fees, etc.) would be more relaxed than they currently are for non-EU nationals requiring a visa. 

* Gross value added