Policy report

Brexit and coronavirus: economic impacts and policy response

Brexit Business conditions Economic depressions Economic stimulus United Kingdom

The twin shocks of coronavirus and Brexit cover almost as broad a swathe of the economy as possible, affecting sectors relying on face-to-face interactions (the arts, hospitality) and cross-border trade (manufacturing) respectively. Some 69% of the economy is predicted to be ‘badly affected’ by at least one of Brexit and COVID-19.

There are already signs that the government is going to allow COVID-19 schemes to be used to cushion Brexit disruption. This report says the UK Chancellor should instead design an alternative package of support to help businesses cope with short-term Brexit disruption, or allow those businesses special access to the existing COVID-19 schemes on a case-by-case basis.

Failing to do so risks poor value for taxpayer money and longer-term economic damage from delaying necessary economic restructuring when the UK’s terms of trade with the European Union change in 2021.

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