How will Brexit impact UK public services?

By Rob Whiteman | 09 January 2020
  • Rob Whiteman

Shortly before Christmas, the Prime Minister's EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill cleared its first Parliamentary hurdle. All indications are that the UK will be leaving the EU on 31 January 2020. But while the House of Commons vote may have provided some short-term clarity on the Brexit process, for those of us working in public finance, the waters are still murky. Questions about the impact of Brexit on UK public services are bcoming more frequent for us at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). Here are a few points that articulate our current thinking.

According to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research predictions, all regions of the UK will be poorer under the Prime Minister’s withdrawal deal, compared to continued EU membership. Even under an optimistic 2021 free trade agreement scenario, in the long-run, the UK economy is expected to be more than 3% smaller than if it remained part of the bloc. Impacts of our EU exit are projected to vary geographically, based on regional industry mixes and current supply chains. In other words, expect some individuals, communities and public services to be hit disproportionately harder than others.

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