Never-ending Brexit saga more destructive than a bad deal?

United Kingdom and European Union flags with Brexit text

By Harris Cumming

MORE than three years after the UK voted to leave the EU, the British public witnessed yet another extension to the Brexit deadline yesterday.

The news left many feeling perturbed and desperate for the seemingly ceaseless process to reach its ultimate conclusion. However according to experts, this frustration could have potentially severe implications for the UK economy.

Barry Reilly, Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex, argues that the threat of Brexit has already inflicted damage on the UK economy and that this new deadline will exacerbate this further:

“Certainly for agents in the economy, firms, even individuals making investment decisions about whether to purchase consumption goods and just broadly consumer expenditure, all of those will take a hit largely because of the uncertainty. That particular volatility in consumption and investment decisions is going to continue until we get some certainty about Brexit.”

Professor Reilly also added that the impact of this uncertainty will be evident in the months to come. He said:

“Christmas is one area in particular where people make rather large spends. People when they are subject to uncertainty are going to make adjustments downwards just because they don’t know what’s going to happen … basically it trickles down to everything.”

However despite the fact that pushing back Brexit deadlines could prove detrimental to the British economy, the economics professor believes it is worth while waiting until the country has the best deal possible. Further adding that:

“I think the deal is bad enough as it is, I think no deal is even worse. I think the actual consequences of a bad deal or no deal at all are much worse than the uncertainty around investment decisions.”

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