FORMER CHANCELLOR Alistair Darling is fronting new research which points to the trade negatives of a British exit from the European Union, potentially leaving a £250bn hole in the government’s coffers.
Recent Treasury data has found that Britain’s trade with EU free trade agreement (FTA) nations, the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) is valued at £637bn, leading pro-EU group Britain: Stronger In Europe to claim that direct EU-UK trade is worth £247bn.
The EU support group leveraged the research to talk about the European Union’s effect on UK trade: “UK trade with the EU is 76% higher than it would have been in the absence of EU membership and we had traded without an agreement; is 44% higher with the EEA than it would have been; and 17% higher with countries the UK has a free trade agreement with thanks to the EU”.
The former chancellor commented on the research: “Those wanting to leave the EU want to pull Britain out of the single market, which would mean introducing tariffs and barriers to our trade and putting billions of vital trade at risk.”
Brexit campaign group Vote Leave has criticised the pro-EU group, claiming that its ‘methodology and sources are unclear’.
Last week US president Barack Obama took a wrecking ball to the Brexit campaign, claiming that it could take five to ten years before Britain could establish a trade deal with Washington is the UK were to leave the EU.
Alistair Darling is the keynote speaker at Financial Director’s CFO Agenda on 28 June, sharing his thoughts on the impact upon business of the UK’s EU Referendum.