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FAI Economic Commentary, 2019 Q3

The impact of Brexit uncertainty has cost the Scottish economy around £3 billion – relative to where it would have been – according to new research from the Fraser of Allander Institute.

In its latest Economic Commentary, supported by Deloitte, the University of Strathclyde-based research institute highlights how growth has remained sluggish over the past year with firms putting off investment as they await the outcome of the negotiations over the UK’s exit from the EU.

The Institute also points out that whilst it is possible that the UK’s exit from the EU will be finally ratified in the coming hours, days or weeks, this will not mark the end of the challenges facing Scottish businesses.

Professor Graeme Roy, Director of the Institute, said: “There are signs that Boris Johnson may be able to secure safe passage of his new deal with the EU, albeit perhaps not by the 31 October deadline, so that the UK will finally leave the EU three-and-half years from the Referendum.

“Securing a deal will help lift some of the fog of uncertainty that has hung over the Scottish economy in recent times. As a result, in the short-run, the economic outlook should improve. By avoiding a ‘no deal’ outcome, and all that would entail, growth is likely to move ahead of previous forecasts.

“However the nature of the ‘deal’, and in particular the intention to move to one of the ‘hardest’ forms of Brexit means that the long-term challenges for the Scottish and UK economies will be considerable.

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Founded in 1975, the Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary is the leading publication on the Scottish economy and offers an authoritative and independent analysis of the key issues of the day.