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CEP report
Brexit and the future of globalisation?
John Van Reenen
September 2017
Paper No' CEPSP35:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: D92; E22; D8; C23

Tags: brexit; globalization; populism

Alongside the victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 US elections, Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (“Brexit”) in June 2016 reflects a global upsurge in populism. I find that under all plausible scenarios Brexit will make the average UK household poorer than the alternative of remaining in the European Union. The welfare loss is larger if the UK leaves the Single Market (a “hard Brexit) and larger still (6% to 9% of GDP) when the dynamic effects of productivity losses are factored in. This damage hits the poor as much as the rich and is unlikely to be offset by new trade deals which cannot replicate the sustained reduction in non-tariff barriers that the Single Market has engineered.