The EU economy will take a $250billion-a-year hit if there is no trade deal with Britain, a global watchdog warned today.
The bloc as a whole would see 1.5 per cent knocked off its GDP – and the impact on Ireland would be much worse at around 4 per cent.
The scale of the potential damage to the EU from the collapse of Brexit talks has been underlined in a new report from the International Monetary fund.
The dire warning came as new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab urged more ‘energy and vigour’ in negotiations on his first trip to Brussels to meet Michel Barnier.
A document released by Eurocrats also urged businesses to start preparing for no deal, and raised the prospect of long queues at borders and ports, disruption to planes and new restrictions on data transfers if there is no agreement.
With fears rising that the negotiations are on the verge of collapse amid a standoff over the Irish border, the IMF issued a dire warning that there will be ‘no winners’ from a failure to secure agreement.
Ireland would be worst hit due to its close trade ties with Britain, followed by the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Germany would also suffer due to industrial supply chains.
Lost employment could total 0.7 percent of the EU workforce, or more than a million jobs.
‘The strength of the euro area-UK integration implies that there would be no Brexit winners,’ the IMF said.