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Brexit could cost the average Briton up to £1,700 a year

'Remain' strongholds would bear the brunt

Disruption to trade caused by Brexit could cost the average Briton as much as £1,700 a year, with Remain-backing areas bearing the brunt, a report has claimed.

The research suggested many of the worst-affected areas would be in the Remain-voting South East because their prosperity depends more heavily on services, which are more sensitive than goods to trade barriers.

The findings, released by the London School of Economics Centre for Economic Performance, are at odds with official Whitehall assessments that Leave-backing areas of the North East will pay the highest price for any disruption to trade.

Unveiling his research at the Social Market Foundation think tank in London, the LSE's Nikhil Datta said a "soft" Norway-style Brexit, where the UK remained in the European single market, would result in annual economic growth being 1.3% lower over the next 10 years - around £850 per head of population.

A "hard" Brexit, where the UK leaves without a trade deal, would mean growth being 2.7% lower over the period, the equivalent of £1,700 a person, he said.

This analysis shows that there are no immediate gains from Brexit, only different degrees of loss

Any benefit from new trade deals with countries such as the US or China will not have enough impact to offset the losses, said Mr Datta.

According to his calculations, the area set to lose most from disruption to trade is the City of London, which faces a 1.9% hit from a soft Brexit and 4.3% from a no-deal outcome.

Next worst-affected areas would be Aberdeen City, Tower Hamlets, Watford, Mole Valley in Surrey, East Hertfordshire, Reading, Reigate and Banstead, Worthing and Islington, all of which voted to remain in the 2016 referendum, he said.

By contrast, several of the areas that will pay the smallest price for Brexit - including Eden in Cumbria, South Holland, North Lincolnshire and Melton - all voted to Leave.

SMF director James Kirkup said: "This analysis shows that there are no immediate gains from Brexit, only different degrees of loss.

"The fact that wealthier areas might lose more in the short run does not change the need for better support for skills, growth and economic resilience in the poorer parts of Britain where Leave was most popular."

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