Large South Yorkshire businesses '˜more highly exposed' to possible '˜No Deal Brexit'

Large South Yorkshire businesses are '˜more highly exposed' to the prospect of a '˜No Deal Brexit', according to a new report.

Thursday, 17th January 2019, 2:40 pm
Updated Friday, 18th January 2019, 12:36 am

Documents drafted by the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Board has said South Yorkshire's export market is '˜heavily dependant' on the EU.

A report seen by council and business leaders reveals South Yorkshire exports 57 per cent of goods to the EU and the region is '˜exposed to the negative effects of potential increased in delays and tariffs'.

The document adds tariff and non-barrier tariffs could impose costs of five to 10 per cent on '˜key sectors' like advanced manufacturing. Businesses with '˜large existing trade links and supply chains to the EU' are said to be '˜highly exposed'.

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Due to the end of free movement, the report also outlines a lower number of EU workers, especially lower-skilled workers, would '˜cause challenges to businesses' in the SCR '“ with the greatest impact on firms which are '˜dependent on EU workers to fill vacancies, such as logistics and manufacturing'.

Paul Johnson, senior economic policy manager at SCR, said: 'There is a consensus that the economic impact of a no-deal scenario for the UK economy '“ trading with the EU on World Trade Organisation terms - would be significant and negative. Businesses trading with the EU, especially manufacturing firms, are likely to see increased costs due to delays and tariffs.

'Given the critical role of South Yorkshire's manufacturing sector within the supply chain, there is a real fear therefore that the introduction of tariffs and border checks in trade with the EU will have a disproportionately greater impact on manufacturing businesses in the SCR.

'There will also be big impacts in sectors such as health and higher education if there are fewer high-skilled EU migrants.'

The research does outline the weaker pound '˜should help boost exports' presenting an '˜opportunity to uncover better ways of operating'.

Trade relationships are likely to change post-Brexit with an '˜opportunity to potentially more trade with emerging markets like India and China'.

Dan Jarvis, Sheffield City Region Mayor, said: 'Whatever the outcome of Brexit, it's my job as Mayor to do all I can to ensure our region's communities and businesses can thrive in the future.

'Preparing the Sheffield City Region for Brexit is the prism through which I view my Mayoralty. It's key to everything that we do, from creating good jobs to attracting investment, growing an inclusive economy and building infrastructure fit for the 21st Century.

'I've submitted evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Post-Brexit funding, and joined with Mayors across the UK to argue that post-Brexit funding should be devolved to regional leaders.

'The Sheffield City Region Growth Hub is publishing a toolkit for all businesses that will enable them to carry out a self-assessment which will advise them about their strengths and weakness in six key areas, including innovation and skills. The toolkit will also direct them to resources and expert help so that they can prepare.'