20:48 GMT05 March 2021
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    No deal on Brexit would have ‘widespread, damaging and pervasive’ consequences for the UK, according to a new expert study by the British think tank, known as The UK in a Changing Europe. Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with one of the report’s authors, professor of economics and public policy at King's College in London, Jonathan Portes.

    The report, entitled “Cost of No Deal”, paints a grim picture of possible repercussions for the UK if Brexit negotiations fail.
    When asked about the damage the absence of a Brexit deal could cause the British economy, Dr. Portes said that the immediate impact of the “no deal” would leave the UK in “a legal limbo”

    “It is not just that there will be tariffs and trade barriers between the UK and the rest of the EU, but it is also the status of the contracts existing between British exporters and importers. Similarly, for UK citizens living elsewhere in Europe it is not clear they suddenly become third-country nationals and lose the rights they currently have in Europe,” Dr. Portes noted.

    He added that food trade between the UK and EU would also suffer.

    “We are not saying that all these things would necessarily happen, but there are definitely risks in the event of a no deal on Brexit,” Jonathan Portes said.

    He  added that, confronted by the prospect of a no deal and the possible economic damage this would entail, many in the UK could backtrack and favor a more gradual divorce process.

    “Anyway, it is by no means certain what the political implications would be,” he noted.

    When asked about the implications a no deal on Brexit could possibly have on the EU itself, Dr. Portes said that even though in terms of trade the UK would suffer more, the EU would also have to pay the price with a budget hole resulting from Britain’s exit from the bloc and the immediate cessation of UK contributions to the EU budget.

    As for the future trade deal between the UK and the EU, Jonathen Portes said that there was a great deal of uncertainty about that too as nether side seems to know just what kind of a deal it really wants.

    Meanwhile, many experts warn that the UK economy could see a further significant fall in exchange rates, wages, consumer demand and business confidence as a result of Brexit. This, in turn, could lead to a slowdown in investment.

    The report comes as London and Brussels have concluded the latest round of Brexit negotiations with little progress. The sides retained major differences over the issue of citizens’ rights, the financial settlement and the Irish border.

    Previously, British Prime Minister Theresa May repeatedly stated that “no deal is better than a bad deal” as the conditions proposed by the EU could be unsatisfying.


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