No-deal Brexit ‘could cost millennials £108,000 each’

Analysis of Brexit scenarios finds Norway-style trade agreement best for young people

Our Future Our Choice, Youth, Young People, Millennials, Brexit, Chequers
Members of the Our Future Our Choice campaign group protesting at Chequers in July
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Young British people stand to miss out on more than £100,000 each in lost earnings by 2050 if the UK goes ahead with a no-deal Brexit, a new report warns.

Analysis by campaign group Our Future Our Choice, which is backed by John Major, used models by Oxford University economist Tommy Peto that draw on government Brexit briefing papers to predict the economic impact of the various potential Brexit scenarios.

The research found that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, in which the UK would default to World Trade Organization (WTO) trade rules, the average young person starting work now would earn between £44,000 and £108,000 less over the next 32 years.

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In the case of a free trade agreement (FTA) Brexit, a scenario based on Canada’s deal with the EU, those losses stand at between £30,000 and £72,000 by 2050.

The best form of Brexit for young people appears to be membership of the European Economic Area (EEA), an arrangement similar to Norway’s, but even that is forecast to cost them up to £32,000 compared with remaining in the EU.

The findings back up claims that “at a time of sky-high house prices and crippling student debt, the under-30s will be the biggest losers” of the UK quitting the European Union, says Metro.

The Independent adds that the study “lays bare the full cost of Brexit for the generation that opposed it”.

In the foreword to the report, former prime minister Major says: “Under every scenario that has been independently modelled - even by our own British Government - the UK will be poorer and weaker, and the poorest regions and the least well-off will suffer the most.”

“I would urge every parliamentarian to read and absorb the findings of this report,” he continues, adding that Brexit “was never the choice of the young, who voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU while their elders voted to leave”.

The report also calls for a second vote on the final terms of the Brexit deal - known as the “People’s Vote” - in order to give a voice to younger people that were not old enough to vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

“Since June 2016 there are nearly two million more young people eligible to vote. It is only right they have a say in their nation’s future,” says Major.

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