North/South divide will widen over Brexit warns UK Powerhouse study

UK Powerhouse study

The UK Powerhouse study by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), predicts that in quarter four 2020, Milton Keynes, Reading and Oxford will be in the top three locations for economic growth. Anna Tobin reports

The UK Powerhouse study forecasts are based on the assumption that an amended version of the Brexit withdrawal agreement will form the basis of the future relationship between the UK and the EU. It also assumes a transitional arrangement will be put in place that allows a continuation of the current relationship without any major disruptions until at least 2021.

In light of this, the report predicts that the five slowest growing locations in quarter four 2020 will be Sunderland, Wolverhampton, Hull, Middlesbrough and Derby; while Milton Keynes, Reading and Oxford will be the top three locations for economic growth.

“Brexit has and will continue to take up a lot of Government time, but it is vital that it refocuses its attention on rebalancing the UK economy. Our latest report reveals that very little has changed in terms of economic growth and looking further ahead, locations in the South East are expected to continue growing at a much faster rate,” says Victoria Brackett, CEO of business legal services and partner at Irwin Mitchell.

Josie Dent, senior economist at Cebr adds: “Economic growth in even the fastest growing cities is set to slow in the year after Brexit. In quarter four 2018, the fastest growing city – Reading – is estimated to have seen annual growth of 2.7%, while in quarter four 2020 Milton Keynes is set to grow at the highest rate, but will only see a 2.1% increase.”

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