Brexit could cost Scottish economy £16bn a year – report

Scotland’s economy faces losing up to £16bn a year as a result of leaving the EU, according to a Scottish government forecast. The updated analysis warns that a hard Brexit, in which the UK falls back on World Trade Organisation rules, would cost Scotland up to £12.7bn and cause real household incomes to fall by 9.6%, or £2,263 per head.

In contrast, staying in the EU could result in the UK economy growing by 2.4% if integration of Europe’s single market in digital industries, energy and services intensified. That growth would add about £3.6bn to Scotland’s economy, the report said, implying that overall, the decision to leave the EU would cost it £16bn – more than 10% of Scottish GDP.

The Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said the report strengthened the case for the UK to keep single market membership, but added that her government’s preference was still to remain a full member of the EU. Despite growing support for a second EU referendum, she said the greatest opportunity to prevent a hard Brexit came from the coalition of opposition parties and anti-Brexit Conservatives who backed continued single market membership.

Read the full paper here.