1.2 million jobs to be lost in Europe with no-deal Brexit


If the UK were to leave the EU without an agreement 1.2 million jobs across the Continent would be be lost, with nearly 300,000 redundancies in Germany.

The UK, inevitably, would suffer the most with 500,000 job losses, according to the study commissioned by the Belgian government and carried out by Leuven University.

Ireland would lose 50,330 jobs, placing it among the most badly hit countries in terms of jobs lost as a percentage of its working population. Belgium and The Netherlands would suffer similarly, with a combined 115,590 jobs disappearing (42,390 and 73,200 respectively). Belgium would lose 2.35% of its GDP with Flanders being the area hardest hit.

The group of countries projected at losing between 1 and 1.3% of jobs included France (141, 320), Germany, Poland, Portugal and Sweden. Slightly better off in terms of job losses would be Italy and Spain. Croatia, Greece, Austria and the Baltic states would be among the least affected.

In the UK, researchers calculated per capita income loss to be nearly €3,000 whereas in most of Germany the figure would be only around €100 and less than €50 in southern Spain and most of eastern Europe.

Even with an agreement, job losses would be significant with Belgium losing 10,000 jobs if the UK left the EU under an agreement similar to the one the organisation has with Norway.

The food and drink sector would be among the worst hit with 112,000 job losses while the textile industry risked losing 130,000 jobs particularly affecting Belgium and Italy. Petro-chemicals and pharmaceuticals would also suffer significant losses.

Researchers took into account the application of WTO tariffs for goods and a series of complicated assumptions on other kinds of tariffs, plus the disruption caused to supply chains, but conceded that there were many variables in their calculations.


17 Responses to 1.2 million jobs to be lost in Europe with no-deal Brexit

  1. Avatar
    trev 7 Aug 2019 at 3:10 pm #

    May as well lower the UK Pension/Retirement age to 55 in that case.

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    JohnM 3 Sep 2019 at 9:54 pm #

    In the UK a large number of those who will made redundant as a result of Brexit will have to be employed on farms, hospitals & the hospitality industry to fill the posts vacated by EU workers who no longer work here.

    Not sure what some of the bankers will think of working in these industries.

    Note people from Europe are also stopping working in the UK as due to the falling pound they have less money to send home.

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      ABC 2 Feb 2020 at 10:17 pm #

      and many British jobs are already lost, I was reading 500k. The companies relocated to EU countries. So now the jobs lost in Britain are in Spain, Poland and other EU countries. There is no reasons for Europeans to go to the UK, the British jobs are coming to them. Ireland will get a much grater job influx than loss, Thals for sure. Some British companies are already in Malta, Poland, Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Germany and Spain.

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        Stuart 26 Apr 2020 at 8:40 am #

        The methodology used to calculate the 500k job losses you quote was basically to count any jobs lost in the U.K. since brexit – (brexit job losses Facebook page claims 442k using this). What utter crap! Seemingly 450 BBC news job losses were brexit related. Frankie and Bennys restaurants closing was brexit rather than dreadful food and the fact that restaurants go bust all the time. The list is endless! U.K. employment is up since the brexit vote – fact!

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    Kashir 5 Sep 2019 at 12:58 am #

    If no deal is reached, in terms of jobs, it can be both good and bad, good for locals but bad for non locals. However Britain can issue out work permits for a limited time like what Europe is doing to non EU nationals. 🙂

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    Susan 8 Sep 2019 at 10:54 am #

    Could someone explain what jobs exactly will be lost and why these particular jobs will be lost and how can they prove it is true

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    Salter 15 Sep 2019 at 11:45 am #

    This study was done by a university in Belgium, & Belgium presumably being VERY pro EU, it could be argued that there may well be ‘a pro EU, & anti U.K. bias’? Would therefore like a similar exercise done by a, let’s say, more neutral body. However, I could well be wrong, & the study may be perfectly valid!

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      Stuart 26 Apr 2020 at 8:46 am #

      Halle institute in Germany did one – I believe it was net job losses as some jobs would leave the U.K. but others would relocate to U.K. , both to avoid tariffs. . Forecast globally would be net large job losses (tariffs hurt global economy in aggregate) but the country specific are illuminating. 100,000 job losses in Germany , and wait for it……… only 12,000 in the U.K. !!
      This was done by a well respected German institution as opposed to a member of project fear.

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    Cris 28 Sep 2019 at 11:08 pm #

    Increase in jobs relating with borders and police officers.
    Loss of Eu rights.
    Less competition in jobs but less jobs As companies move to Europe.
    Decrease pound. Expensive trips abroad as less people going on holidays.
    Food more expensive because of imports.
    Loss in medical personnel.
    Back to 1975 era.
    Slow grow.
    You should have voted remain.

    • Avatar
      Chris 13 Oct 2019 at 9:37 pm #

      China has been intentionally devaluing it’s currency for decades and despite the major world economies currently growing at 0.8% per year, China is growing at 6.8%. Don’t make the classic mistake of linking a strong currency to strong growth. A weak currency leads to strong exports, bringing wealth back to the UK.

      Poles that work in the UK, sending British Sterling back to Poland is not a good thing!

      Agriculture needs to invest in greater technology and become more efficient, less labour intensive. Holland has managed it, so ir is possible.

      Brits need to holiday here and spend their money in this country. Remainer voters frequently regurgitate information that they do not fully understand and make out that it’s a bad thing, when in fact it can be a benefit to Britain!

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      ABC 2 Feb 2020 at 10:23 pm #

      leave them. Pride comes before fall. It is estimated that the UK will loose 2 Mil Jobs as the companies are leaving the UK. They already lost 500k jobs. This is great for the whole of the remaining EU. ” Mil new jobs within the EU. People don´t have to leave home anymore to find a job, the job is coming to them.

      • Avatar
        James 23 Aug 2020 at 11:23 pm #

        Good Luck with that fairy tale!

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      James 22 Aug 2020 at 10:46 pm #

      Why was food comparitly 25% cheaper in the UK before joining the EU then?

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    Stephen J Baker 4 Oct 2019 at 3:35 pm #

    It’ll be interesting how the Irish and the EU explain to people made redundant in Germany, France etc how losing their jobs is a price worth paying. With the prospect of North Macedonia and Albania joining the EU, Germany, France etc will see a new wave of migrants. Also, can’t see the new joiners being net contributors to the EU budget. So, how’s all that going to work out for you? You think the UK has problems.

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    John Bates 7 Oct 2019 at 9:44 pm #

    Lets be honest. Brexit is about refugees and racism. The refugee crisis in recent years has stressed Europe. Several right wing parties have emerged and in Britain the response was Brexit. The media has covered the racism associated with the Brexit vote – perhaps the subject is a little too sensitive.

    • Avatar
      Thomas Jay 13 Oct 2019 at 8:38 pm #

      Claptrap. Totally about democratic control. You people really are shallow in your analysis. Try thinking a bit more.

      • Avatar
        James 22 Aug 2020 at 10:52 pm #

        But more than half of those voting to leave were from Left Winger parties

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