LATEST: 'Hard Brexit' would cost Scotland 80,000 jobs, billions
A “Hard Brexit” could usher in a bleak period in Glasgow | Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Losing access to the EU’s single market would cost the Scottish economy £8 billion in a decade, lead to the loss of 80,000 jobs and decrease wages up to £2,000 per person per year, according to a Scottish think tank.
The Fraser of Allander Institute in a study for the Scottish government also found that if the U.K. is forced to rely on World Trade Organization membership to deal with the European Union after Brexit, long-term growth in Scotland could fall by 5 percent.
Even if the U.K. maintained closer ties with the EU through a deal similar to Norway’s, the Scottish economy would suffer, according to the study. The country’s GDP would be about 2 or 3 percent lower than it would have been inside the EU and real wages would decline by £800 to £1,200 a year.
“Whatever the model that the U.K. government settles on, this report paints a grim picture of Scotland’s economy ten years after Brexit,” MSP Joan McAlpine, who commissioned the report, wrote in a statement.
British Prime Minister Theresa May hinted on Sunday that she would prioritize migration concerns and pulling the U.K. out of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice over safeguarding trade links with the EU. Her comments were interpreted as a sign the country would leave the EU single market — a “hard Brexit.”
May also indicated the British government would unilaterally decide how to deal with leaving the bloc, drawing strong condemnation from Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.