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Brexit cost for worst-hit Aberdeen already adds up to £9,000 for every resident, researchers calculate

EU and UK flags

A study of the Brexit damage being felt by the north-east economy suggests it is already the equivalent of £9,000 per head in worst-hit Aberdeen.

Experts at Warwick University calculate the Scottish economy has lost more than £3.94 billion as a result of leaving the EU, with warnings it could get higher once the coronavirus shutdown has been taken into consideration.

SNP MSP Gillian Martin said the figures were “horrific” and that Brexit was being driven by Tory ideology.

Gillian Martin MSP.

The researchers worked out Scotland as a whole had lost £736 per head of population compared to what they would have had should the UK have chosen to remain.

Worst hit is the Granite City, where the economic loss has been estimated at more than £9,000 per person.

The figures show more than £2 billion has gone from the oil and gas capital while Aberdeenshire has lost over £1.3 billion – £5,000-plus per head.

In Orkney it is £3,813 per person, a reduction of 13.6% of GDP.

In Shetland, an estimated £6,688 has been wiped off, a reduction in more than 18% of the islands’ GDP, the highest in Scotland.

People in Highland stand to lose £133 per person from the local economy, while in Moray it is £216 less, with its economy an estimated £31.1 million worse off.

Western Islanders’ have lost the equivalent of £1,178 per person.

On average, 42.7% of residents in Highlands, Moray, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland and Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire voted to leave the EU in 2016.

This was higher than the Scottish average, which stood at 38%.


Gillian Martin, SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire East, said: “There is only one word to describe these estimates for Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City – horrific.

“There will be other factors at play in the economy of this area but this research shows Brexit is causing deep and lasting harm to real people in the north east and all across the country.

“The Brexit chickens are coming home to roost and we have not even properly left yet. When we do crash out – and it looks increasingly likely it will be without a deal – the situation will become even more critical.

“We all know Boris Johnson and his band of Brexiteers were in fantasy land when they promised a land of milk and honey and these figures demonstrate the financial folly of leaving the European Union.

“But the Tories are driven by ideology and not reality. It’s why the people of Scotland must have the opportunity to decide our future in a second referendum.”

Based on “assumptions”

The Conservatives have disputed the university’s figures.

North East Scottish Conservative Bill Bowman MSP said: “The academics acknowledge they have made assumptions about a set of circumstances which never happened.

Bill Bowman MSP.

“Meanwhile, SNP failures on the economy, education, health and justice are concrete and quantifiable.

“Even in the middle of a pandemic, the SNP only look for opportunities to fan the flames of grievance.

“The vote to leave the EU in 2016 was UK-wide.

“The nationalists should be running a government, instead of overwrought grandstanding.”

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