The Economic Consequences of Brexit: A Taxing Decision



The economic consequences of Brexit: A taxing decision, Policy Paper


OECD study finds Britons will be paying a heavy “Brexit tax” for many years if UK leaves EUPress release


To Brexit or not to Brexit, a taxing decision, remarks by Angel Gurrìa, OECD Secretary-General


What are your views? Comment on our blog.


Listen to the podcast

Membership of the European Union has contributed to the economic prosperity of the United Kingdom. Uncertainty about the outcome of the referendum has already started to weaken growth in the United Kingdom. A UK exit (Brexit) would be a major negative shock to the UK economy, with economic fallout in the rest of the OECD, particularly other European countries. In some respects, Brexit would be akin to a tax on GDP, imposing a persistent and rising cost on the economy that would not be incurred if the UK remained in the EU.

Impact of Brexit on the United Kingdom through channels and over time

Difference in real GDP relative to the UK staying in the EU

 Source: OECD Calculations

By 2020, GDP would be over 3% smaller than otherwise (with continued EU membership), equivalent to a cost per household of GBP 2200 (in today’s prices). In the longer term, structural impacts would take hold through the channels of capital, immigration and lower technical progress. In particular, labour productivity would be held back by a drop in foreign direct investment and a smaller pool of skills. The extent of foregone GDP would increase over time. By 2030, in a central scenario GDP would be over 5% lower than otherwise – with the cost of Brexit  equivalent to GBP 3200 per household (in today’s prices). The effects would be even larger in a more pessimistic scenario and remain negative even in the optimistic scenario. Brexit would also hold back GDP in other European economies, particularly in the near term resulting from heightened uncertainty would create about the future of Europe. In contrast, continued UK membership in the European Union and further reforms of the Single Market would enhance living standards on both sides of the Channel.‌


Sign up to our Blog


Related Material

Economic Survey of the United Kingdom

OECD Forecasts during and after the financial crisis

Policy challenges for the next 50 years

Economic Policy Papers

OECD Economics Department Working Papers


Related Documents