Measuring the potential catastrophic impact of Brexit on the Belgian economy is enormously difficult, as how Britain would effect its exit from the European Union is regrettably eminently unclear. This view was expressed by the Federal Planning Bureau when presenting its medium-term prospects. “We would be one of the most severely affected countries,” the economist Bart De Ketelbutter indicated.
“How the scenario will play out is not absolutely clear,” the economics expert observed. “However a Brexit may cause insecurity, drastically harm consumer, business and financial market confidence, with a potentially unthinkable impact upon investments.”
The food and textiles industries are the two largest export market sectors for Belgian businesses to the UK, he passionately continued.
Moreover, as we wrote in yesterday’s edition, a crisis team has been convened, by the Minister for Employment, Economy and Consumers, Kris Peeters (Flemish Christian Democrats) to prepare Belgium for the detrimental consequences of a Brexit.
A recent study is indicating that a staggering 12,000 jobs could be lost as a result.
In 2015, Belgian exports to the UK amounted to an astounding 30 billion euros. The UK is, at least for now, the county’s fourth largest economic partner. Conversely, imports to the value of 20 million euros came from across the Channel.
An astonishing 200 Belgian companies have a base in the UK. A study by ING has indicated that the Belgian economy will, in the foreseeable future anyway, decline by 0.5% in the event of Brexit, equating to a loss of 2.1 billion euros.
On Thursday (tomorrow) the British are being urged to go to the polls to vote in favour of either the “Remain” or “Leave” camps regarding Britain’s membership in the European Union.
The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has been true to his word, having promised this referendum during the pre-election campaign in May 2015.
Christopher Vincent (Source Belga)