A CBI business group study published on Sunday (20 March) has revealed that it could be very costly for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. The study estimates that the “Brexit” could bring about a “serious shock” to the British economy, jeopardizing nearly one million jobs. Leaving the EU could cost about GBP 100 billion (128 billion euros, $145 billion) of economic output by 2020, which is an equivalent to five percent of the country’s annual gross domestic product. Losing almost 1 million jobs would also mean that unemployment rate would be 2-3 percent higher by 2020 than if the UK remained an EU member.
According to Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General of the CBI, “this analysis shows very clearly why leaving the European Union would be a real blow for living standards, jobs and growth,” while adding that “even in the best case this would cause a serious shock to the UK economy.” The study was conducted by services firm PwC on behalf of business group the Confederation of British Industry. Vote Leave, an organization campaigning in favour of the Brexit dismissed the results, saying that they are “skewed”.
The organization reiterated that leaving the EU was the “only safe option”. Recently, the centuries-old insurance company Lloyd’s of London supported the EU membership saying that it would be the “better outcome” for the group. The company, however, admitted that it was making contingency plans for a possible Brexit. British nationals are due to vote in a referendum that will decide on the UK’s future in the EU on June 23. Opinion polls indicate the result will be very tight with as many as 20 percent of voters still undecided.