The analysis by CEP reported in Dhingra. et al. (2017) represents a first attempt to look at the local impacts of the increases in trade barriers associated with Brexit. Further work will be needed to better understand these impacts, to understand the impacts working through other channels, such as migration and investment, and to understand the longer run impacts as the economy adjusts. But the figures do provide an initial indication of the way in which the impact of Brexit may be felt differently across Great Britain. National government needs to consider the spatial implications of deals negotiated and support cities to adapt to changes in the UK’s international trading relationships.

Ultimately, with a large degree of uncertainty surrounding Brexit, it is difficult to predict exactly how local economies will respond to its likely negative impacts. The insight presented in this paper is intended to complement local knowledge. It is important that cities continue to monitor local business performance and the factors that affect it through business surveys, account management systems and data. There are a variety of ways cities may be able to help businesses to adapt and diversify their export activity: from providing information on changes to tariffs, procedures and regulations to helping to facilitate local trade networks and missions. It is critical that policy is informed by the challenges and opportunities facing local businesses and communities, and by evidence on what types of policy are most effective in supporting local economic growth.13


  • 13 For more information on the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth see http://www.whatworksgrowth.org/ and Centre for Cities and WWCLEG’s joint project on the local economic development response to Brexit see http://www.whatworksgrowth.org/blog/brexit-local-impacts-and-responses/.