Study on disorderly brexit: 100,000 german jobs at risk

A disorderly Brexit would put thousands of jobs in Germany at risk, a new study shows. The auto industry in particular is at risk.

Could end badly for VW: a disorderly Brexit Photo: dpa

In Germany, the jobs of more than 100,000 people are threatened by a Brexit without an agreement, according to a study. The study by the Leibniz Institute for Economic Research Halle (IWH) and the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg was reported by Welt am Sonntag. "In no other state is the effect on overall employment as large as in Germany," one of the study’s authors, Oliver Holtemoller, told the newspaper.

After an unregulated Brexit, tariffs would again be imposed on imports to the United Kingdom. The simulation by the scientists only includes job effects that are attributable to the resulting slump in exports. The figures do not reflect other Brexit risks for the labor market, such as a decline in willingness to invest.

In Germany, the automotive industry was particularly affected by the drop in exports. Many jobs at the VW site in Wolfsburg and at the BMW site in Dingolfing-Landau in Lower Bavaria are threatened. Many employees also fear for their jobs in the Swabian district of Boblingen, where technology groups such as IBM and Siemens and companies in the automotive industry are located. The situation is similar in the Markischer Kreis district in southern Westphalia, where many medium-sized companies with foreign operations are based.

The figures are the result of a simulation calculation: For the study, the authors assumed that the UK’s imports would collapse by 25 percent after a disorderly Brexit – a value that corresponds to common scientific estimates. They developed a formula to calculate how such a collapse in imports would affect which industry and which country. This was based on data from the World Input Output Database (WIOD), which documents the global trade links between countries.

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