Belgium ‘not prepared’ for Brexit effects
- Amid all the hot-air about the economic effects of Brexit, the impact on other countries is often lost. Belgium is no exception – the UK is Belgium’s fourth-largest trading partner, responsible for 8% of its exports and 5% of its imports.
- Belgium also stands to be the fourth EU state most affected by Brexit economically – behind Ireland and Malta – and its food and beverages, administration, and textiles sectors are the ones most vulnerable to Brexit-related job losses.
- A ‘hard Brexit’, with UK-EU trade reverting to something akin to World Trade Organisation standards, would result in about 42,000 job losses across Belgium, according to Hylke Vandenbussche, professor of economics at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
- Even if a new trade deal and ‘soft Brexit’ is brokered before 31 December 2020, when the eleven-month post-Brexit transition is due to end, 10,000 jobs would be lost, her research suggests.