Edinburgh would be hardest hit by double whammy of coronavirus and no-deal Brexit

Ian Murray says a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for jobs in EdinburghIan Murray says a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for jobs in Edinburgh
Ian Murray says a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for jobs in Edinburgh | Other 3rd Party
70,000 city jobs in at-risk sectors

EDINBURGH is at risk from a double whammy of coronavirus and a no-deal Brexit from the European Union at the end of the year, a new report has warned.

The Capital would be the hardest hit area in Scotland if, on top of the current health crisis, the UK leaves the EU without a trade deal in December, the research revealed.

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Almost 70,000 jobs in Edinburgh and another 26,600 in West Lothian are in the sectors most exposed to the double economic blow of Brexit and Covid-19, according to the findings in the Social Market Foundation study for campaign group Best for Britain.

Over a quarter of jobs in Edinburgh and West Lothian are in banking, finance and manufacturing - the sectors deemed most at risk from a double economic hit.

The report says: “If the UK exits the transition period without a trade deal in place, it is likely that the Government would need to bring about a stimulus package to support specific industries and parts of the country.

“Given the large increase in government expenditure as a result of coronavirus it is hard to see how the UK could afford another stimulus package in early 2021 without adding to already unprecedented borrowing.”

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Edinburgh South Labour MP Ian Murray said: “A no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for jobs and the city’s economy.

“I don’t think anybody wants this, whichever way they voted in the Brexit referendum.

“We need to make sure we get the best deal we can with the EU to protect jobs and livelihoods in Edinburgh at this worrying time.

“The UK Government must keep its promise to secure a trade deal, and if it can’t then it will have to ask for an extension to the Brexit transition period.”

Former Tory MEP Struan Stevenson called at the weekend for Boris Johnson to extend the deadline for the Brexit transition period.