No-deal Brexit could dent UK’s technology-driven growth, says KPMG

No-deal Brexit could dent UK's technology-driven growth, says KPMG

If Britain leaves the European Union with a deal then new technologies will help UK trade more than triple to over £4 trillion by 2050, professional services firm KPMG said today.

Read more: Mark Carney warns 150,000 firms not ready for no-deal Brexit

Yet should the UK crash out with no deal, the total of imports and exports by 2050 could be £1.2 trillion lower at £2.8 trillion, KPMG said.

The Big Four firm said in a report today that “the UK is likely to become more open despite the influence of Brexit” and is set to benefit from technological advancements.

The tone is markedly different from a report by the Open University which today looked at the effect of technology on employees. It warned that as many as 40 per cent of jobs are expected to change significantly or become redundant in the next five years.

Yet in its central scenario, KPMG predicts that technology will drive down transport costs, while developments such as the 3D printing of products will let manufacturers move production closer to customers.

A more optimistic and futuristic scenario in the report envisages advances in communication technologies underpinning the development of more complex and far-reaching global supply chain.

For example, the report said: “Advances in mobility and autonomous transportation [could] lead to lower costs and greater efficiencies in logistics.”

Yael Selfin, chief economist at KPMG UK, said: “While Brexit has the potential to upset many of the existing trade links the UK has; technology offers a way of generating growth in a new environment.”

She said: “Our research’s central scenario highlights if a Brexit deal isn’t reached, a no-deal could have an adverse impact on the UK trade volumes over the next decade.”

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