Boris Johnson has continued to rule out any extension of Britain’s transitional agreement with the EU, which expires in January. He intervenes despite an impasse in the discussions on a future trade agreement, before the last round of negotiations this week.
However, an impact assessment of the end of the transition period revealed that the manufacturing, banking, financial and insurance sectors would be “severely exposed” to a double economic blow from Brexit and the coronavirus.
Analysis by the Social Market Foundation divided the country into zones, then each classified into a category between 1 and 5, 5 representing the most exposed to a double blow. Half of those in the northwest are in category 5 and an additional 40% in category 4. She said that the West Midlands, where the Conservatives had made significant gains in last year’s election, were also exposed .
There have already been warnings that the new border agreements in the Irish Sea will not be ready by Johnson’s end of year deadline, but Downing Street is adamant: the transitional period, which gives Britain’s access to the EU single market will not be extended. .
James Kirkup, Director of SMF, said, “In some cases and in some places, this double impact will be serious. Basically, this report demonstrates the simple fact that leaving a developed free trade agreement with our closest and most important trading partners at the same time as dealing with a pandemic will expose many parts of the UK to double painful economic impact.
The study was funded by Best for Britain, which is campaigning for a comprehensive trade deal with the EU. Naomi Smith, its CEO, said, “This report, which maps the impact of the two shocks, definitively refutes any speculation that the impact of the end of the transition period may be masked by the recession of the coronavirus. The data is clear: when you scratch below the surface, many key sectors will be exposed to a double whammy of economic blows. “