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Workers could face £116 hard Brexit loss by 2020, study claims

Research suggests those on the median wage in Scotland could lose more than £15,000 by 2034.

A hard Brexit could cost an average worker in Scotland £116 by 2020, new research has indicated.

The study claims income losses following a no deal Brexit could hit more than £1,010 by 2027 and forecasts a cumulative drop of more than £15,615 by 2034.

Campaign organisation Open Britain carried out the research for Labour MP Ian Murray, co-founder of the Scottish Labour for the Single Market group with former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale which wants to stay in the customs union and single market after leaving the EU.

The calculations are based on a no deal Brexit leading to an estimated drop in the UK’s average annual economic growth by 1%, against 1.5% for staying in the EU and 1.1% for remaining in the single market and customs union.

The income loss is based on a median Scottish wage of £23,150.

Mr Murray said: “This reveals that any sort of Brexit will leave families across Scotland worse off and a ‘no deal’ Brexit could cost the average worker £116-a-year in 2020.

“Brexit has the potential to hit everyone in work. Already we have seen how Brexit has forced prices up in the shops and the pound has taken a beating. The pain of Brexit could stretch on for years.”

Papers leaked last month from the UK Government’s Department for Exiting the EU forecast a 9% drop in economic growth in Scotland following a no deal Brexit, worse than Scottish Government predictions of an 8.5% drop by 2030.

The UK Government said the leaked papers were draft documents which do not represent the government’s policy.

Earlier, Mr Murray said the Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn want to “have their cake and eat it” on Brexit.

Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, he said: “It’s very difficult, as the EU keeps saying, to have your cake and eat it, and that’s what the Prime Minster and the Leader of the Opposition seem to want to do.”

He said Mr Corbyn was “further ahead” of Theresa May in his Brexit position and welcomed the recent announcement that Labour would seek to form a new UK-EU customs union to ensure tariff-free trade after Brexit, but stressed the EU has said it will not negotiate a bespoke deal for the customs union.

Questioned if the formation of the new group is a bid to upstage Ms Dugdale’s successor Richard Leonard at the Scottish Labour conference this weekend, Mr Murray said: “It’s got absolutely nothing to do with the leadership of the UK or the Scottish Labour parties … It’s an attempt by the grassroots of the Labour Party to come together and tell the leadership of the Labour Party that the least worst option for the country of leaving the European Union is to stay in the single market and the customs union.”

Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said: “This campaign group, set up by Kezia Dugdale, is more about Scottish Labour’s internal splits than it is about facing up to the challenges and opportunities of Brexit.”

Scottish Labour Brexit spokesman Neil Findlay said: “Labour does not support a no deal Brexit.

“We want a deal which retains the benefits of the Single Market and will not support a deal which does not.”

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