May’s ‘Chequers Plan’ will cost hundreds more per person than ‘Soft’ Brexit says research group

Theresa May’s ‘Chequers Plan’ would cost every person in the country up to £800 more than even a so-called ‘Soft’ Brexit, economists have said.

According to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research [NIESR], the PM’s plan would cost each person a minimum of £500 extra compared to a Soft Brexit, with the figure rising to £800 in the event of no deal.

The UK government’s White Paper on 12th July contains its preferred relationship with the EU which prioritises free trade for goods and what NIESR describes as ” an ambitious arrangement for services”.  However the research group argues that the UK government will have to make “significant concessions” to the EU in order to reach a deal.

It says: “In our view the government will have to make significant concessions to the EU.

On the impact of Brexit, it adds: “As before, the central forecast has been conditioned on a ‘soft’ Brexit assumption where the UK achieves close to full access to the EU market for goods and services.

“If instead of this soft Brexit scenario we assume that the government achieves the somewhat more restrictive White Paper proposals, the output loss will amount to £500 per person per year over time compared with the soft Brexit scenario. The loss would be around £800 under a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

The report also warned that the estimates did not include the likely impact on productivity which could see the losses double.

The institute said: “The UK economy is facing an unusual level of uncertainty because of Brexit.

“The UK government’s white paper, which set out its preferences for that new relationship, has failed to unite the government or parliament, leaving open an entire spectrum of possible outcomes.”

The study follows news that the price of fresh fruit and vegetables could rise after Brexit.  The UK government has also confirmed that it plans to stockpile blood and other medical supplies when the UK leaves the EU.

Negotiations are crrently taking place between the UK government and the European Commission as both try to reach a deal by October.  The UK will formally leave the European Union on March 29th next year.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to issue a statement on the Scottish government’s position with respect to Brexit and a possible second independence referendum sometime in the Autumn. The First Minister has argued that the UK and Scotland should remain in the Single Market and Customs Union.

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