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Analysis

Fewer cars, fewer shops and fewer bankers. Thanks Brexiters!

by Luke Lythgoe | 12.04.2018

Theresa May might have secured a transition deal last month, but Brexit is still our sapping jobs and prosperity. Here’s our round-up of the latest damage.

Car production slowing

The number of cars made in the UK for domestic consumption fell by a sixth in February compared to the previous year. The SMMT trade body blamed the plunge largely on consumers holding off on big-ticket purchases due to Brexit-related uncertainty.

Pain on the high street

The number of high street shops closing down has doubled in a year. Retailers blame a perfect storm of online competition, rising prices and a slump in consumer confidence. Brexit is a major cause of the last two, with the fall in the value of the pound making imported products more expensive and Brexit-induced inflation squeezing customers’ pockets.

Banking exodus gathers steam

18 banks have now committed to launching new EU hubs in Frankfurt since the Brexit vote, German officials announced over the weekend. Whatever you think of bankers, their taxes help pay for public services such as the NHS.

Weak link in supply chains

One in seven EU companies with UK suppliers have moved part or all of their business out of Britain, according to a survey. At the same time, a third of UK suppliers were found to have raised prices because of a weaker pound, with another two-fifths planning future price rises to offset other Brexit costs. This is bad news for companies across the UK supplying international customers, who will look elsewhere for cheaper products inside the single market.

Fintech finding it hard

Financial technology companies are finding it hard to find engineers. Mike Laven, chief exec of fintech firm Currencycloud, told the FT: “I think we are seeing not so much people leaving but not the influx that we had before … I think that is a threat to the industry.” His company is planning to open an office in another EU city – probably Amsterdam.

Weather visibility low

The European Commission has warned that after Brexit the UK could be excluded from the EU’s Copernicus satellite programme, the world’s largest single earth-observation programme. The UK has been an integral part in setting up the ambitious project. Being shut out would be a blow to our space programme and the Met Office, which was expected to be one of the biggest users. There have been similar warnings about access to the EU’s Galileo satellite positioning programme.

Thanks Brexiters!

See our previous round-up of the toll Brexit is taking here.

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Edited by Hugo Dixon