14:10 GMT03 December 2020
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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - If the United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union without a deal, the Belgian GDP may drop by 0.9 percent, which is equivalent to a loss of around 4 billion euros ($4.45 billion) for the country's economy, the RTBF broadcaster reported on Thursday, citing the National Bank of Belgium.

    Meanwhile, Hans Geeroms, an expert from the National Bank of Belgium, believes that a hard Brexit could cost Belgium from 0.4 to 2.5 percent of its population's purchasing power.

    The authorities of the northern region of Flanders claim that Brexit threatens this economically developed and populated region of Belgium most of all. In this regard, the head of the regional government, Geert Bourgeois, has called on Flemish companies to be prepared for this outcome and redirect their businesses to new markets.

    READ MORE: Business Lobby Reveals How Much Hard Brexit May Cost Belgium

    According to estimates of international consulting company Deloitte, Brexit will hit Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium harder than other EU member states. The consequences will mainly be felt in Flanders, which accounts for 80 percent of Belgian exports to the United Kingdom.

    READ MORE: Uncertainty with Brexit and for the United States Economy

    The United Kingdom is one of Belgium's top five economic partners, consuming around 9 percent of Belgian exports worth a total of 32 billion euros. Belgium mainly exports cars, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food, beverages, textiles, synthetic materials and manual mechanical equipment to the United Kingdom.

    Belgian Authorities Reportedly Approve 250 Measures to Prepare for Various Brexit Scenarios

    Meanwhile, Belgium's government approved 250 different measures in the framework of preparation for both potential an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and for a no-deal scenario, RTBF reported.

    The RTBF broadcaster reported that in case of a no-deal divorce, the Belgian authorities will allocate 15 million euros ($16.9 million) this year for additional recruitment of 300 personnel to the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain, 245 to customs, 40 to the Federal Police and 26 to the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products.

    In the case of orderly withdrawal, these agencies would need additional 455 personnel and funding of 12.5 million euros, according to the broadcaster.

    The European Council has granted the United Kingdom a Brexit deadline extension until May 22 if the House of Commons can pass the withdrawal deal by Friday and until April 12 if it cannot. The deal has already suffered two defeats in the UK Parliament.

    READ MORE: Absent ‘Meaningful Social Justice', Brexit Can't Solve British Problems — Journo

    GDP drop, Brexit, Deloitte, United Kingdom, Belgium
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