The threat of losing EU trade
More than 1,700 UK firms would go bust if Britain fails to secure a free trade agreement with Europe in the event of Brexit. The study by trade credit insurer Euler Hermes said Brexit without an FTA would see GDP fall by 4.3 percentage points and export losses rocket to £30bn by 2019 - a gap which would take 10 years to fill. Securing an FTA would still see GDP fall by 2.8 percentage points, triggering the loss of 1,500 businesses in three years, it argued. However, the think-tank Civitas has calculated that the proportion of exports going to the single market's 11 other founder members has fallen from 68% in 2007 to 36% last year, and is now lower than when Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973. A separate report from Sheffield University says poorer regions of the country face greater uncertainty from a decision to leave the EU. It found that northern regions are more reliant on exporting goods to the EU than the south – almost half of Yorkshire's exports go to the EU, while for London and Wales the figure is less than 40%. In a separate study, the university showed the differences in the amount of money received by different parts of the UK; Yorkshire will receive around £600m in the current EU funding round that runs from 2014 to 2020, compared to the South East which will receive just £218m.
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Brexit ‘detrimental to business’
Liz Cameron, director of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, writes in the Scotsman that the SCC’s research shows the gap between the 'remain' and 'leave’ votes among its members has narrowed over time. The SCC found that business leaders within medium and large firms were more inclined to want to remain than their counterparts in small and micro businesses. In the Yorkshire Post, former Business Secretary Vince Cable discusses the benefits of remaining from the point of trade and manufacturing; the essential point being that the Single Market reduces administrative barriers to trade, especially for small businesses. Separately, Ed Molyneux, chief executive of Edinburgh-based online accounting company FreeAgent, which provides an online accounting platform for freelancers and microbusinesses, says Britain leaving the EU would deprive businesses of a key source of technology and engineering talent, as it is currently so easy to gain the right skills from the region.
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Cars reaching for record
The number of cars built in British factories last month increased by 16% to 149,334 – a 12-year high – with 81.5% of those going for export, mainly to Europe. The figures collated by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders trade body show output running at an annualised 1.65m, putting the industry on track to break 1972's record of 1.9m cars by 2020.
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