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UK trade could fall by up to £92bn if we leave the EU

London First released a summary of economic data on the range of possible effects of leaving the EU on London’s crucial services sector.

Alistair Darling highlighted our findings in a speech last week, warning of the economic implications of leaving the EU.

Mr Darling quoted our headline figure that if the UK were to follow the Canadian trade model, as advocated by Vote Leave, trade could fall by £92bn.

London First commissioned research by Frontier Economics on the historical impacts of the EU on UK services trade. Based on this, we identify the scenario of the UK leaving the EU and managing to negotiate a ‘Canadian-style’ free trade agreement, one of the most open agreements that the EU has negotiated.

In that case, leaving the EU is likely to increase trade restrictiveness in services, which could lead to UK trade falling by up to £92billion even in the event of a free trade deal.

The research also looks at the future benefits to be gained by completing the single market in services and the digital single market.

Will Higham, Director of Campaigns, London First, said:

“The services sector is a cornerstone of the UK economy. In fact, London is the leading European, and global hub for services. This brings enormous benefits to the UK as a whole. London combines leadership in financial services, creative industries, technology and business services. It is as though London is the New York, Los Angeles and Silicon Valley of Europe combined.

 “Through our membership of the European Union, the UK reaps the benefits of increased competition and access to a much wider market, with fewer restrictions to this access. Critically, through EU membership, we have a voice at the table to shape this further. Leaving the EU would pose a massive risk to the UK services sector, and the wider jobs prospects for the next generation.”

Contact: Naomi Smith,


London First is campaigning for a vote to remain in the European Union. Promoted by Will Higham on behalf of London First: Remain in Europe, both at Middlesex House, 34-42 Cleveland Street, London W1T 4JE.

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