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This chart shows the European countries most economically at risk from a hard Brexit

Will Martin
  • Brexit will inevitably have an impact on economies in Europe outside the UK.
  • A "group of economic geographers" used complex datasets to try and map the potential impacts Brexit could have on the EU-27 countries.
  • Ireland's economy will understandably be worst hit, while Germany and the Netherlands are also at risk.

LONDON — Brexit will damage the British economy. That's something that most respected forecasters and analysts agree on.

There is already clear evidence that the domestic economy has slowed markedly, and faces uncertainty from all corners.

That uncertainty has pushed businesses to delay spending, and inflation caused by the weak pound has made spending more expensive for consumers.

Less clear is the impact Brexit will have on the economies of other countries in the EU, particularly in a hard Brexit scenario where the UK's trading relationship with the bloc fundamentally changes.

In a recent note from the investment bank Jefferies, economists David Owen and Marchel Alexandrovich point to a study by a "group of economic geographers" who used complex datasets to try and map the potential impacts Brexit could have on the EU-27 countries.

According to Owen and Alexandrovich, the study "looks beyond export and import figures which may only scratch the surface of the potential hit, to complicated supply chains at a regional (NUTS-2) level, importantly across the EU-28," creating a reasonably clear picture of the potential economic hit to individual nations.

This hit is quantified in terms of what proportion of each country's GDP is at risk in the event of hard Brexit.

Jefferies' economists then put the data into a chart, which can be seen below:

UK and EU economic hit from Brexit

Jefferies

"The fact that the UK and Ireland come off worst is hardly surprising, nor the hit to the trading hubs of Belgium and the Netherlands. However, of the larger countries in the EU-27 it is Germany that is hit worst, with Italy and Spain impacted a lot less," the economists note.

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