A new report shows how the East Midlands could be impacted after Brexit, including the possibility of losing more than 6% of its workforce.
According to the research, carried out by think-tank Demos, different regions across the UK could be at more risk than others when it comes to exporting to the EU, EU workers and EU funding after the UK leaves the European Union.
Around 50% of all exports from the East Midlands are destined for the EU, whilst more than 6% of the region’s labour comes from EU workers.
Manufacturing and agriculture have been deemed by the report to be most at risk due to their reliance on both these issues.
NFU East Midlands Regional Director Gordon Corner said: “Agriculture provides the bedrock for the UK food and drink sector, the largest manufacturing sector in the UK – worth £108 billion to the economy and providing 3.9 million jobs.
“Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the number of EU nationals working in agriculture and horticulture has steadily increased in the past few years.
“These workers are essential to the future of many farming and horticultural businesses and to food businesses further up the chain.
“What is needed is a commitment from the government that farmers and growers will have access to sufficient numbers of workers from outside of the UK after the UK leaves the EU; this should mitigate some of the issues that Brexit will produce in the East Midlands.”
Currently, based on loss of EU workers, loss of exports of goods to EU and loss of EU funds, the East Midlands shows as a medium risk for all three in comparison to London, which has a high risk of loss of EU workers and Northern Ireland and Wales, which is at high risk from loss of EU funds.
The report concludes that the impact of Brexit on the UK is still unknown and that these are predictions based on Demos’ knowledge and understanding of the intended direction of travel including leaving the single market with much greater limits on immigration and also the probability of leaving the Customs Union, and a loss of EU regional funds.